I am pleased to provide my first Board Wrap, as your new Chair of the Board.
It is an honour to have been appointed as the Chair of Transport Heritage NSW and I am excited about being here.
I would like to thank everyone for the warm welcome and the work by individual Board members, the CEO and executive team in briefing me on the relevant aspects of our activities. Already I can see THNSW is undertaking a tremendous range of initiatives and programs, as well as two major projects with the Loop Line Upgrade and Chullora Heritage Hub, to support delivering the organisation’s current strategic plan.
I look forward to meeting many more of you in the coming months, learning more and becoming part of the organisation.
Now to the Board Wrap.
The Board held its fourth Board Meeting for 2022 on Tuesday 30 August 2022.
The Board congratulated all involved in the Bathurst June long weekend and the Thirlmere Festival of Steam, these two events culminating in a very strong finish to the financial year.
Our thanks go to the Bathurst Rail Museum and Transport for NSW for making us so welcome again this year and we hope to get back out into the Central West again next year.
The Thirlmere Festival of Steam was a huge success with record attendance and passenger numbers on our Loop Line trains. This was the first time this event was delivered in partnership with Wollondilly Shire Council, and we look forward to working with the Council in the future.
THNSW ended the year with over 51,000 visitors to our museums and over 46,000 passengers on our heritage trains. This is a great result given the extended closures due to the pandemic at the beginning of the financial year, followed by the severe weather events impacting the second half of the year.
Our full year results and more information on our activities will be published in our Annual Report and discussed as part of the upcoming AGM.
Annual General Meeting (AGM 2022) preparations
This year’s AGM will be held in the evening on Saturday 26 November 2022 at the Powerhouse Ultimo and will be an in-person AGM only. The Board is honoring the commitment made in 2019 to alternate AGM venues between the NSW Rail Museum and a Sydney venue, hence this year’s AGM being held in Sydney.
The Board approved a number of administrative matters pertaining to holding the AGM which will be communicated to members in the Notice of AGM, to be issued by 1 November 2022.
I look forward to meeting many of you at the AGM in November.
Notice of Election of Elected Directors and Call for Life Member nominations
By now members will have received the Notice of Election of Elected Directors. This year the terms of the two Elected Director positions held by Dale Budd OBE and Brett Fitzpatrick expire at the AGM, hence we are holding an election for these two positions. For more information go to: THNSW Annual General Meeting 2022
Members will also have received the call for life membership nominations. Life membership is the highest honour THNSW can bestow upon an individual member for their exceptional, unique and/or distinguished service to the organisation. More information including how to nominate a truly exceptional member can also be found at THNSW Annual General Meeting 2022
Major projects updates
The Board received an update from the CEO on the latest progress of our two major projects.
Chullora Heritage Hub – Transport for NSW (TfNSW) has now confirmed its Infrastructure & Place Branch (I&P) will deliver the first phase of the project, being the refurbishment and upgrade of the Tank Annex for long term storage of heritage rolling stock items. We understand the announcement of the successful contractor for the building works will be made this month, with works to commence soon after that.
THNSW will be represented on the Project Control Group for the Tank Annex works and we will be working closely with all those involved from I&P, TfNSW and Sydney Trains to see the successful delivery of the Tank Annex to meet our future collection storage needs.
In addition, the detailed planning and design has commenced for the second phase which centers around the upgrade of the former workshop building along with other areas for THNSW’s other activities and use on site.
Loop Line Upgrade Project – all track materials are now on site, including rail, sleepers and track fastenings. Contracts for turnout procurement and re-sleepering have been signed and we are in the process of confirming we have all the necessary approvals in place to commence re-sleepering works shortly.
Architects have commenced work to prepare concept plans for the proposed works to the station precincts at Picton Avenue, Thirlmere, Buxton, Hill Top and Colo Vale.
Funding deed extension
The Board is pleased to advise the Funding Deed with the NSW Government via Transport for NSW (TfNSW) has been extended for a further three years from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2025, demonstrating the ongoing commitment to the social value of our transport history and heritage in NSW.
Looking ahead to September and October
We have an exciting program of major events coming up over the next few months between now and the end of the 2022 calendar year, including Day out with Thomas for five days over the first two weekends of spring, the long-awaited Locomotive 3801’s crossing of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the much anticipated return of our very own Transport Heritage Expo at Central Station and a Newcastle Flyer with Locomotive 3801 in October.
Tickets are on sale for all of these events and it’s great to see members securing tickets in large numbers during pre-sale periods, as well as strong demand more widely in the community for what we do.
We will also soon be announcing an invitation to THNSW members to join me at the announcement and celebration of this year’s annual Transport Heritage Grants Program awards, which will be held on 22 October. This will provide many of you with an opportunity to mix and mingle with like-minded heritage transport enthusiasts from a number of the other member/volunteer groups across our sector, as well as to meet me.
In closing I again thank everyone for the warm welcome as I now join the THNSW team and congratulate everyone involved for the work that you do to keep our transport heritage alive.
Keep up the great work.
Hon. Nathan Rees