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CURRENT NEWS ITEMS

October 2022 - Grant for Restoration of 602/707.

The Society has received a $50,000 grant from Transport Heritage NSW towards the restoration of our 600 Class set - 602 and 707. The grant was made under the 2022-2023 Transport Heritage Grants Scheme. See the award announcement here.

October 2022 - 7344 Assists Newcastle Flyer.

7344 was used to assist Transport Heritage NSW's Newcastle Flyer service on the weekend of 15-16 October. Loco 3801 worked six cars single-handed to Newcastle Interchange each day. In the absence of an engine release road at the Interchage, 7344 hauled 3801's cars to Broadmeadow Maintenance Center while 3801 was turned on the Islington Triangle. 3801 then coupled to the back of its cars and 7344 hauled the whole consist back to Newcastle Interchange for an afternoon departure.

October 2022 - CPHs at Transport Heritage Expo 2022.

Our three CPH's travelled to Sydney on the October long weekend to participate in the Transport Heritage NSW Transport Expo 2022. The three CPH's worked three round trips each day from Sydney Terminal covering the Metropolitan Goods Lines from Meeks Road through Enfield and Chullora to Sefton Park Junction and then returning via the main line through Lidcombe and Strathfield. All nine trips were at full capacity.

August 2022 - No Entry to South Australia.

Our second planned excursion into South Australia for Cruise Express was curtailed by ARTC bureaucratic interference. This meant we were limited to operating in NSW and we took the Cruise Express passengers as far as Broken Hill, where thay travelled on by coach. We ran some local trips from Broken Hill before returning to Parkes where we operated a local lunch trip to the Rusty Horse Hotel at Bribbaree. After a day off we journeyed to Albury where we ran a number of local trips to Henty and Culcairn and a luncheon trip to Wagga Wagga. Cruise Express passengers were collected from Albury with an overnight stop on the way back to Sydney.

May 2022 - First Operation into South Australia.

The Society's first operation into South Australia took place on 22-31 May. Starting from Paterson, some 65 passengers boarded 621/721 for the first leg of the run to Parkes. The next stop was Broken Hill where a lay day was taken for our passengers to undertake local sightseeing. Crossing the border into South Australia on 24 May saw the imposition of a number of operating restrictions by ARTC in relation to level crossings. These restrictions presented a number of challenges and following further negotiations, the restrictions were partially reduced for the journey after Adelaide. Two nights were spent in the SA capital before heading for Melbourne. On the run to our overnight stop at Horsham, a stop was made at Murray Bridge for a lunch cruise on the Murray River. The 620 arrived in Melbourne on 27 May to a platform full of enthusiastic photographers. Another lay day was provided for passengers to enjoy the Melbourne sights including an option for a visit to Puffing Billy. The return run home from Melbourne included and overnight stop in Wagga Wagga. The train arrived home late on the afternoon of 31 May. Our first incursion into SA proved remarkably successful, however, a later planned tour had to be curtailed due to further ARTC bureaucratic interference. This is currently being worked on with additional track circuit testing being needed to satisfy the ARTC hierarchy.

May 2022 - Annual General Meeting.

The Society's Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday, 7 May 2022. In order to maintain appropriate social distancing, the meeting was again held in the rail motor shed at Paterson Depot with 20 members in attendance, 2 apologies and 2 visitors. Five Board members retired in rotation and were eligible for re-election. Five nominations were received for the vacant positions and those Board members were declared re-elected. Following the AGM, the new Board met and elected the Office-bearers for the ensuing year. The Board for 2022-2023 is:

President:

Rodney Short

Vice President:

Bruce Agland

Secretary:

Michael Walsh

Treasurer:

Trish Short

Asst. Sectry/Treas:

Stephen Harper

Board Members:

Kaye Burgess

Bruce Greenham

Graeme Holloway

Paul Horder

Spencer Ross

Robert Spencer

February-March 2022 - Heavy Rains Impact Tour Operations.

The heavy rainfall experienced along the East Coast impacted a number of our tour operations. CPH 1 and 7 operating a Captain's Circle western tour were terminated at Lithgow due to track damage on the Blue Mountains. The units returned to Paterson via Dubbo and Gulgong. 621/721, operating a Cruise Express Southern Branches Tour was stranded at Moss Vale due to wash ways on the Main South Line. 621/721 were later worked into Sydney to take up a Cruise Express Canberra tour.

February 2022 - Sydney Trains Overhead Wiring Inspection Project.

Following successful negotiations in late 2021, HPC 402 carried out a six-week operation in Sydney carrying out overhead wiring inspections. Despite continuing wet weather and Sydney Trains ongoing industrial action, the testing went ahead and was completed on schedule.

February 2022 - 7344 Assists With Testing Of R766.

7344 assisted Sydney Rail Services with testing operations of their gauge converted steam locomotive R766. The assistant loco was required by ARTC to ensure the train could be recovered in the event of a failure. R766 performed well and should received approval to operate on the main line in the near future. Our congratulations go to Sydney Rail Services on the completion of this major project. R766 will feature at the 2022 Hunter Valley Steamfest 35th Anniversary activities as part of a four-way parallel run between Waratah and Maitland.

January 2022 - North Coast Operations.

COVID-19 restrictions impacted planned North Coast tourist operations. 621/721 travelled to Kyogle for the Giant Pumpkin and Watermelon Festival on 15-16 January. This was followed by a successful 2-week Rail Forest Rattler trips, based on Coffs Harbour.

December 2021 - Christmas at Paterson.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions on entertainment venues, the Society held its Annual Christmas Party at Paterson on Wednesday, 15 December (the first day of no masks). Over 50 members were in attendance.

November 2021 - Safeworking Recertification Training.

Two Safeworking Recertification Training courses were held in late November and early December. 17 crew members attended for this all important part of retaining our skill sets. Thank you to GoTrain Industry for conducting the classes.

November 2021 - NPF 621 Repairs Completed.

Accident repairs to NPF 621 have been completed, with the unit receiving a complete repaint at the hands of our resident painter, Peter Macfarlane. The unit looks resplendent in the new paintwork and lettering.

October 2021 - Tourist Services Resumed.

28 October saw the resumption of our tourist services with a Stroud Road run for Tuncurry Coaches. This was followed by a second Stroud Road tour for Southern Cross Coaches on 2 December.

October 2021 - Sydney Trains Contract Renewed.

Our 2019 contract with Sydney Trains for Overhead Wiring Inspection services using HPC 402 was renewed for 5 years, with 3 additional 1-year options.

October 2021 - 7344 Assists Testing of R766.

At the request of Sydney Rail Services, 7344 was used to assist restored Victorian steam locomotive R766 on two test runs between Branxton and Singleton. 7344 led R766 running tender first to Singleton, while the R Class led back to Branxton on each run. The testing proved successful and we look forward to seeing R766 on tourist trains in the near future.

September 2021 - COVID-19 Restrictions Eased.

The second round of NSW Health COVID-19 restrictions were eased in September and the Society cautiously resumed its work days under our strict COVID-19 Safety Plan. Volunteer numbers gradually grew until we reached our regular complement of workers.

June 2021 - COVID-19 Restrictions Hit.

As the second round of NSW Health COVID-19 restrictions were applied, the Society's work days were curtailed, with only limited work being undertaken to progress important projects.

2021 - HEADLINES.

  • May 2021 - CPH 19 Bogies Recovered.
  • May 2021 - Grant Received for Water Tanks.
  • May 2021 - Annual General Meeting.
  • Apr 2021 - 621/721 Involved in Level Crossing Collision.
  • Mar 2021 - Floods Cause Service Cancellation.

2020 - HEADLINES.

  • Dec 2020 - Christmas Barbeque at Paterson.
  • Nov 2020 - HPC 402 Returns from successful project.
  • Oct 2020 - Society services recommence.
  • Aug 2020 - Society Wins Sydney Trains Contract.
  • Jul 2020 - Annual General Meeting.
  • Jul 2020 - Passing of Board Member Eric Larkins.
  • Jun 2020 - Major Drainage project completed.
  • Mar 2020 - Society services suspended.
  • Feb 2020 - New Tractor for the Depot.
  • Feb 2020 - 623/723 delivered to Broadmeadow.
  • Jan 2020 - Additional concrete flooring.

2019 - HEADLINES.

  • Mar 2019 - CPH Body Restoration.
  • Mar 2019 - 629/729 Departs.
  • Mar 2019 - Open Days.
  • Apr 2019 - TAM and BR Restoration.
  • May 2019 - Annual General Meeting.
  • Jun 2019 - 7344 Fitted With Buffers.
  • Jun 2019 - 621 Goes In For Engine Change.
  • Jun 2019 - CPH's at Transport Expo 2019.
  • Oct 2019 - 7344 Receives a new paint job.
  • Dec 2019 - CPH 1 Commences Body Maintenance.
  • Dec 2019 - Christmas Function.

2018 - HEADLINES.

  • Jan 2018 - Board Retirements.
  • Feb 2018 - 621/721 Flooring.
  • May 2018 - Annual General Meeting.
  • May 2018 - Arthur Burgess elected Life Member.
  • May 2018 - Depot Improvements.
  • Jul 2018 - Society Acquires Loco 7344.
  • Sep 2018 - Society Supports Our Farmers.
  • Sep 2018 - 721 Bogie Change.
  • Nov 2018 - Brisbane Driver Retires.
  • Nov 2018 - All Three Trains Out Together.
  • Dec 2018 - Society Helps SMR Celebrate 125 Years.
  • Dec 2018 - Volunteer of the Year Awards.
  • Dec 2018 - 7344 Delivery Run.

2017 - HEADLINES.

  • Jan 2017 - HPC 402 More Radio Testing.
  • Mar 2017 - KB 2511 Relocated.
  • May 2017 - Annual General Meeting.
  • May 2017 - Board Retirements.
  • May 2017 - Shed Extension Completed.
  • Nov 2017 - HPC 402 Bogie Repairs.
  • Dec 2017 - Volunteer of the Year Awards.

2016 - HEADLINES.

  • Jan 2016 - East Coast Low Pressure System.
  • Mar 2016 - Operations on the South Maitland Railway.
  • Apr 2016 - Hunter Valley Steamfest 30th Anniversary.
  • Apr 2016 - HPC 402 Used For Ballast Survey.
  • May 2016 - Annual General Meeting.
  • May 2016 - Secretary Bryan Hicks Retires.
  • Jul 2016 - Society Receives Heritage Grant.
  • Oct 2016 - HPC 402 Radio Testing.
  • Dec 2016 - Volunteer of the Year Awards.

2015 - HEADLINES.

  • Jan 2015 - Coffs Harbour Shuttles.
  • Apr 2015 - Annual General Meeting.
  • Apr 2015 - Hunter Valley Steamfest.
  • May 2015 - East Coast Storms.
  • May 2015 - Shed Extension Completed.
  • Jun 2015 - Cleanup of our Depot.
  • Jul 2015 - Cleanup of Depot Completed.
  • Aug 2015 - HPC 402 Maintenance.
  • Sep 2015 - CPH's and 620 in the Metro.
  • Nov 2015 - HPC 402 Radio Testing.
  • Dec 2015 - Volunteer of the Year Awards.

2014 - HEADLINES.

  • Mar 2014 - Annual General Meeting.
  • Apr 2014 - HPC 402 to Binnaway.
  • Apr 2014 - CPH 3 returns to service.
  • May 2014 - Denman Food and Wine Festival.
  • Jun 2014 - ARHS North West Long Weekend Tour.
  • Jul 2014 - Gloucester "Chill Out" Festival.
  • Aug 2014 - Wauchope-Coffs Harbour 2015 Rail Centenary.
  • Aug 2014 - Two Gulgong Outings.
  • Nov 2014 - 402 Club Ventures into Victoria.
  • Dec 2014 - Volunteer of the Year Awards.

2013 - HEADLINES.

  • Jan 2013 - Vale Kenneth Alfred Butt (1932-2013).
  • Feb 2013 - Kiama storm washes out ARHS Nowra Tour.
  • Mar 2013 - HPC 402 returns to service.
  • Mar 2013 - First Victorian Operations.
  • Mar 2013 - Annual General Meeting.
  • Jun 2013 - ARHS South West Tour.
  • Jun 2013 - Nyngan 130th Anniversary.
  • Jul 2013 - Gloucester Chill out Festival.
  • Aug 2013 - Denman's 10th Annual Outing.
  • Sep 2013 - Rescue Helicopter Support Group to Hawkesbury River.
  • Sep 2013 - Local Travel Agent's Tour to Gulgong.
  • Oct 2013 - ARTC Inspection Tour with HPC 402.
  • Oct 2013 - 402 Club West and South West Tour.
  • Nov 2013 - ARE West and South West Tour.
  • Dec 2013 - Volunteer of the Year Awards.

2012 - HEADLINES.

  • Feb 2012 - Drainage works at Paterson.
  • Mar 2012 - Annual General Meeting.
  • Mar 2012 - Society Volunteer of the Year Awards.
  • Jun 2012 - ARHS and 621/721 travel to Brisbane.
  • Aug 2012 - Roof Covering for the TAM and BR.
  • Aug 2012 - NPF 621 receives new engine and transmission.
  • Aug 2012 - Victorian Accreditation Granted.
  • Oct 2012 - ARTC Executives Inspect the SSFL and Main South.
  • Dec 2012 - Volunteer of the Year Awards.

2011 - HEADLINES.

  • Feb 2011 - Society supports Dungog Shire efforts for new GP.
  • Feb 2011 - North Coast Curve Easing Survey.
  • Feb 2011 - Depot Flooded Again.
  • Mar 2011 - Annual General Meeting.
  • Apr 2011 - ARTC Inspects New Routes.
  • May 2011 - 621/721 travels to Roma Street.
  • Jun 2011 - 621/721 travels to Broken Hill.
  • Jul 2011 - CPH 3 completes successful main line trial.
  • Aug 2011 - Society helps Hastings Cancer Trust fundraiser.
  • Aug 2011 - Society helps Dungog celebrate its rail centenary.
  • Sep 2011 - ARTC Southern Inspection.
  • Oct 2011 - Society takes Victorian Group to Cobar.
  • Dec 2011 - Society members receive NSW Rail Heritage Volunteer Awards.
  • Dec 2011 - Society takes delivery of Front-end Loader.

2010 - HEADLINES.

  • Jan 2010 - 621/721 heads out in new paint scheme.
  • Mar 2010 - CPH's make first run into Queensland.
  • Apr 2010 - Hunter Valley Steamfest.
  • Apr 2010 - Annual General Meeting.
  • May 2010 - Society Book Collection Catalogued.
  • Jun 2010 - Society Member wins Rail Heritage Volunteer Award.
  • Jul 2010 - Restoration of Rail Motor Trailer No.51.
  • Oct 2010 - Murrurundi Locomotive Depot Reunion.
  • Oct 2010 - Dunedoo Railway Centenary.
  • Dec 2010 - Taree 620 Launch.

2009 - HEADLINES.

  • Mar 2009 - Annual General Meeting.
  • Apr 2009 - Society receives Heritage Grant for Trailer No.51.
  • Jul 2009 - Society Members win annual Rail Heritage Volunteer Awards.
  • Sep 2009 - The Rail Motor Society celebrates 25th Anniversary.

2008 - HEADLINES.

  • Jan 2008 - Storm Damage Repaired
  • Mar 2008 - Annual General Meeting
  • Apr 2008 - Heavy Rain Limits Steamfest Crowds
  • Apr 2008 - Heavy Rain Causes More Yard Damage
  • Jun 2008 - HPC 402 carries out radio testing on the Epping-Chatswood Rail Link
  • Jul 2008 - Society Teams win Rail Heritage Volunteer Awards
  • Aug 2008 - Site Drainage Stage I Completed
  • Sep 2008 - Society awarded custody of RailCorp's heritage 620 Class Set
  • Oct 2008 - HPC 402 receives a new paint job
  • Nov 2008 - Society receives reciprocal accreditation in Queensland
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