The Board has held several meetings in quick succession in the last month:
our sixth Board meeting for 2021, on Tuesday 23 November
AGM 2021 on Tuesday 30 November
and our seventh and last Board meeting for the calendar year (and first meeting of the new Board post the AGM), on Tuesday 7 December.
This AGM 2021 & Board Wrap summarises all of those meetings.
Firstly, a warm welcome to Colin Pursehouse who joins the THNSW Board. The Board and I would like to thank both the candidates who stood for election this year. More on the outcomes of the AGM below.
The Board received updates from CEO, Andrew Moritz, on the latest impacts of the extended COVID lockdown on THNSW’s activities and initiatives. With the easing of most restrictions from 15 December, the Board reviewed plans to continue the return of volunteering, reopening of our museums and restarting of our heritage train operations on both the Loop Line and main line, as we work towards full and unrestricted capacities.
We look forward to welcoming back visitors and passengers over the next few months and we have an ambitious program of events activities planned for 2022. More on that in a moment.
Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2021
AGM 2021 was held on Tuesday 30 November, via Redback webinar with more than 44 voting members attending. The delayed start was due to technical issues by our supplier, Redback. Both the Board and I apologise for the delayed start and thank members for their patience and perseverance while the problem was resolved.
The draft Minutes of the AGM are now available on the THNSW website.
New Director appointments
Colin Pursehouse was elected as an Elected Director for a three-year term 2021–2024.
Deanna Varga was reappointed as a Non-Elected, Appointed Director for a three-year term 2021–2024.
Farewell Director, David Ireland
David Ireland stepped down as an Elected Director of THNSW at AGM 2021. David has served on the THNSW Board since its inception and the NSW RTM before that.
On behalf of all members, the Board and I acknowledge and thank David for his significant contribution to our organisation during his time on the Board.
THNSW Constitution updated
At AGM 2021, members adopted changes to the THNSW Constitution. The updated constitution is now available in the governance section of the What We Do page.
At its 7 December meeting, the Board appointed and confirmed the following roles:
Deputy Chair – Alex Claassens
V/Company Secretary – Peter Watters
Safety & Environment Committee Chair – Alex Claassens
Finance, Risk & Audit Committee Chair – Deanna Varga
Collections & Curatorial Committee Chair – Dale Budd, Deputy Committee Chair - Brett Fitzpatrick
Rail Operations Support Committee Chair – Howard Collins, Deputy Committee Chair - Colin Pursehouse.
Fundraising Working Group Chair - John Cowper, supported by Director Andrea Plawutsky
The Board determined to discontinue the membership product review working group, given its work has been substantially completed.
Loop Line operational fleet strategy
The Board has recently reviewed and determined the Loop Line operational fleet strategy moving forward.
With just over 18 months before we expect to be operating trains on the extended Loop Line to Colo Vale, we need to take steps now to have the appropriate rolling stock available to operate planned heritage train experiences (as detailed in the product feasibility study available on the Loop Line upgrade project page).
The following was announced during the members’ information forum, held immediately following the AGM.
We recently returned 623/723 railcar set to the THNSW operating fleet. While there are further works required to this set before it returns to operation, we currently expect it will be back in service on the Loop Line by mid-2022.
Locomotive 3001 – is currently being overhauled and due to be completed in the first half of 2022.
Locomotive 2705 – will continue in operation and be withdrawn from active operation once Locomotive 3001’s overhaul is complete in 2022.
Locomotives 3265 and 3526 – are currently operational and in use;
Locomotive 3642 – will be our next steam engine overhaul, commencing immediately following the completion of 3001. 3642 is of course also a main line locomotive and thus will provide additional capacity across all of our operations.
DUB set – the Board reviewed its previous decision of two years ago to return the DUB set to operation for use on the Loop Line and has now determined to reverse this decision. The DUB set does not provide the future operational flexibility required for future operations and will now remain part of the collection, but not returned to operation.
Dedicated Loop Line consist – a dedicated Loop Line carriage consist, including a buffet car, will be developed for up to 344 passengers. This will be separate from the main line consist.
Dedicated dining car consist – in the longer term, we will develop a dedicated dining car consist which will enable us to offer dining train experiences on both the Loop Line and main line in the future. We stress, this dining car consist is a longer-term project and won’t be ready to go when we open the Loop Line to Colo Vale in mid-2023.
Further information will be shared on the revised fleet strategy in the New Year.
Loop Line upgrade project – works commence
Work to upgrade the Loop Line as part of the NSW Government’s recent announced investment in the line have commenced and will pick up pace from early 2022.
Richard Morrisey from Lycopodium has joined the team as Project Manager for the Loop Line upgrade project.
Vegetation clearance has been undertaken to enable more detailed inspections of the track and structures to occur.
Rerailing of the section between Couridjah and Buxton was recently completed, fixing long standing issues with this section of track and enabling the 20km/h speed restriction to be removed at last.
Approx. 20,000 sleepers are expected to arrive early in the new year.
Community engagement consultants have been appointed to support the project.
2022 events and activities
THNSW has an ambitious program of events and activities planned for 2022. You can hear more about this by watching a recording of the members’ information forum.
Transport Heritage Grants Program
Successful recipients of the 2021 Transport Heritage Grants program were announced in late November.
This year over $480,000 worth of applications from 19 heritage transport groups were received, each vying for a part of the $175,000 in grant funds available.
We are very grateful to the NSW Government for its support and funding of this annual small grants program to the heritage transport sector.
You can learn more about the successful recipients on the THNSW news page.
Thank you everyone for your continued support in 2021.
The Board and I would also like to specifically thank all of the staff and volunteers for what has been a second unprecedented year in a row, and one in which the organisation has come through having achieved many great things despite the challenges we faced.
Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and Happy Christmas and New Year.
See you in 2022!