I hope everyone had a safe, pleasant, and relaxing Easter break with family and friends.
The Board held its second meeting for 2021 just prior to the Easter break on Tuesday 30 March and received an update from CEO, Andrew Moritz, on the various activities and initiatives currently underway across the organisation.
April is going to be an extremely busy month at the Museum with trains every day on the Loop Line during school holidays attracting strong forward bookings. We will also be very busy out on the Main Line with the first of our regional trips with Locomotive 3801 to Albury, Junee and Wagga Wagga and two charter operations with the Southern Aurora.
Thank you to everyone involved in both preparing for and delivering these activities. At time of writing, we have already seen what a great success 3801’s tour of Southern NSW has been. The response and feedback from customers has been wonderful and we are delighted that we were able to support both local sector groups and the broader community in the areas we visited.
With all of these activities it is important we remind everyone of the need to continue to follow our COVID safe guidelines and procedures to keep us all safe and allow us to continue to offer activities to the largest possible number of people whilst remaining COVID safe. We cannot risk being complacent – safety is our number one priority, in all forms.
Relaunch of Locomotive 3801
We were delighted to finally relaunch Locomotive 3801 during a special ceremony at Central Station with Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales, on Friday 12 March, followed by a weekend of steam train rides from Central. The community response has been fantastic, and we have been awash with media coverage since the engine’s return to service.
The Board congratulates and thanks everyone involved in the restoration and final relaunch.
Derailment at Revesby
One of our heritage trains was involved in a derailment at Revesby, while travelling on the Sydney Trains network from Thirlmere to Central on Saturday 20 March.
Unfortunately, the derailment occurred during an empty car transfer and subsequently led to the cancellation of our Southern Highlander services that weekend.
This incident is currently subject to a Sydney Trains led investigation and we will make further comment once this is complete.
We anticipate a decision regarding the further funds required to complete the project through to Colo Vale by mid this year.
Fundraising Working Group
I am pleased to announce THNSW Member, John Cowper, has agreed to Chair the Fundraising Working Group going forward.
The Board has approved new terms of reference for the working group, with John to be supported by Board Directors, Dale Budd and Andrea Plawutsky.
Custody and funding application for EHO 668 at Valley Heights
The Board considered and endorsed THNSW seeking custody of and funding for Express Brakevan, EHO 668 at Valley Heights. It is planned to turn the EHO into a much-needed small collection object workspace to enable work on the smaller objects. Next step is for the Independent Funding & Advisory Panel (IFAP) to consider this application when it next meets in June.
A joint Board and management team workshop will be held on Sat 1 May to further discuss and start formulating THNSW’s position and priorities for negotiating a new funding deed with Transport for NSW. Our current Funding Deed is due to finish on 30 June 2022.
Farewell Jennifer Edmonds
The Board noted the resignation of Jennifer Edmonds, Heritage & Collections Manager, and acknowledged the significant contribution Jennifer has made over more than 12 years with the organisation. Jennifer leaves us to take on a completely different direction and we wish Jennifer every success with her new endeavours.
The Board will meet again at the end of May. In the meantime, stay COVID safe everyone!