CURRENT NEWS ITEMS
May 2021 - CPH 19 Bogies Recovered.
After a lot of preparation work by members, CPH 19 was lifted off its 2QG bogies and placed onto surplus 2TE (600 Class) bogies. The plan is for the two 2QG bogies to be refurbished and then placed under one of our operational CPHs. This will enable a program of rolling bogie refurbishment to be undertaken without the need for our operational units to be taken out of service for an extended period.
May 2021 - Grant Received for Water Tanks.
The Society has received a grant of $5,000 for the installation of water tanks on the Rail Motor Shed. The grant was made under Hunter Water's "Love Water" scheme and will enable the Society to make considerable savings on water usage into the future. The Society appreciates the generosity of Hunter Water in making this grant available to us.
May 2021 - Grant Received for Bogie Refurbishment.
The Society has received a grant of up to $22,724 with a matching funding contribution from the Society under the 2021-2023 Heritage NSW Grants program. The grant will enable the repair and maintenance of Rail Motor CPH 1 Bogies.
May 2021 - Annual General Meeting.
The Society's Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday, 15 May 2021. In order to maintain appropriate social distancing, the meeting was again held in the rail motor shed at Paterson Depot with 24 members in attendance and 10 apologies. This meeting marked the end of an era. President, Arthur Burgess, retired from the Board of Management after 20 years of dedicated service to the Society, including 14 years as our President. Arthur has been on leave of absence from the Board since late 2020 due to health issues and in light of these ongoing problems, has decided to step down from the Board. We thank Arthur for his long service and contribution to the Society. We all extend to him our very best wishes for a speedy resolution to his health issues and an early return to an active participation in our Society. Board member, John Ridden, also stood down from the Board due to work pressures. Vice President, Rodney Short, thanked retiring Board members for their contribution during the past year. Four other Board members retired in rotation and were eligible for re-election. Six nominations were received for the six vacant positions and we are pleased welcome Steve Harper and Robert Spencer as our newest Board members. Following the AGM, the new Board met and elected the Office-bearers for the ensuing year. The Board for 2021-2022 is:
April 2021 - 621/721 Involved in Level Crossing Collision.
The sad news of the accidental damage to NPF 621 in a level crossing collision at Tharbogang on a Cruise Express Tour has dampened the Society's spirits, however, an inspection of the unit when it was returned to Paterson showed that the damage was assessed as relatively minor due to the low impact speed (recorded on our in-vehicle camera at just 23 kilometres per hour). The unit's buffer beam took the majority of the impact and a fortunate aspect was that the truck involved was not loaded. The other very fortunate outcome was that none of our passengers or crew members were injured. The Board is proceeding with repairs and recovery of the repair costs as well as lost profits from the truck's insurer with expectation of returning the unit back to service as soon as possible.
March 2021 - Floods Cause Service Cancellation.
Flooding as a result of torrentional rain from an East Coast Low in late March caused the North Coast Line to be closed from Telarah to Acacia Ridge. A number of locations along the line suffered flood damage. The Short North was also closed due to flooding around Cockle Creek. These weather events resulted in the cancellation of a number of Society services including our March Open Day.
December 2020 - Christmas Barbeque at Paterson.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions placed on gatherings by Club Macquarie, the Board decided to cancel our regular Christmas function for this year only. In lieu, a Christmas barbeque was held at Paterson Depot on Wednesday, 16 December. Over 50 members and invited guests attended where the presentation of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) was made to the Society by Comsteel General Manager, Lindsay Reid. A special presentation was also made to Paul Casey for his assistance as a Protection Officer for the fencing of the new siding. Our annual Volunteer of the Year Awards were also presented. These awards recognise the tremendous efforts made by our volunteer workforce during the current year. The awards were voted on by the volunteers themselves and they represent true recognition of their efforts by their peers. The recipients were:
Special thanks to Trish Short and Kaye Burgess for arranging the luncheon, to Greg Duncan our chef and the many others who assisted on the day.
November 2020 - HPC 402 Returns from successful project.
402 returned home to Paterson on 11 November following an intensive 6-week project measuring the overhead contact wiring in the metropolitan area. After travelling to Sydney on 2 October, the testing equipment was installed at the Large Erecting Shop at Eveleigh and the first revenue operation from Mortdale to Coal Cliff took place in the early hours of 11 October. This was followed up with another 20 early morning runs over the following weeks. The project proved very successful, identifying a number of problematic locations on the network.
October 2020 - Society services recommence.
As a result of the easing of Government restrictions, the Society has developed an approved Covid-19 Safety Plan for its passenger operations. The first operation under the plan was a Gulgong service on the October long weekend for Greenhills Travel. The weekend proved a success with three local trips being run from Gulgong to Dunedoo on the Sunday lay day. The Society is pleased to welcome Greenhills Travel as a new customer and we look forward to further operations with them in 2021.
August 2020 - Society Wins Sydney Trains Contract.
The Scoiety was successful in tendering for the provision of HPC 402 to carry out inspections of the overhead wiring in the SSydney Trains area. The project will involve the fitting of a panotgraph to the No.1 End of 402 to carry out the inspection work. Work is expected to commence in early October and run for about 6-7 weeks. The testing equipment will be provided from Germany and 402 will be based at the Large Erecting Shop at Eveleigh for the duration of the project. The Society is grateful to Transport Heritage NSW for making space in the LES available to us. The Society is contracted for five years for this work.
July 2020 - Annual General Meeting.
The Society's Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday, 25 July 2020. The meeting was deferred from its usual April-May timeframe due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings. The deferment was approved by the NSW Department of Fair Trading. In order to maintain appropriate social distancing, the meeting was held in the rail motor shed at Paterson Depot with 26 members in attendance and 9 apologies.The President thanked retiring Board members for their contribution during the past year and a minute's silence was held to mark the passing of Board Member Eric Larkins, earlier in the year. The line managers presented their regular reports. Four of the remaining members retired in rotation and were eligible for re-election. We welcome Paul Horder as our newest Board member. Following the AGM, the Board met and elected the Office-bearers for the ensuing year. The Board for 2020-2021 is:
July 2020 - Passing of Board Member Eric Larkins.
It is with much regret and deep sadness that the Society advises members of the passing of Eric Larkins, a long standing and highly esteemed member, Board Member, Infrastructure Manager and regular train crew member. Eric had been "off the rails" for some time but many would be unaware that he was suffering from an acute illness. Tragically the treatment was unsuccessful and Eric passed away on 6 July 2020, aged 76.
June 2020 - Major Drainage project completed.
The final component of Paterson Depot's drainage system was completed in mid-June. The project invoved piping the open drain along the north western side of the shed. 100 metres of concrete pipe, eight drainage pits and one headwall were laid resulting in the formation for No.4 Road being completed at the same time. Branch lines were laid to collect runoff from culverts under Webbers Creek Road to minimise future local flooding events. An access road was also completed to allow vehicular access between the top and bottom of the depot. The work was assisted by a $20,000 grant from the Federal Government under the Communities Environment Program.
March 2020 - Society services suspended.
As a result of Government restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Society has suspended all passenger services, Open Days, Depot inspections and workdays until further notice.
February 2020 - New Tractor for the Depot.
As our old tractor had reached the end of its economic life, the Board decided to purchase a new Mahindra tractor for work around the depot. A number of additional implements were also purchased. We were fortunate to find a buyer for the old tractor.
February 2020 - 623/723 delivered to Broadmeadow.
Under instructions from Transport Heritage NSW the Society delivered NPF 623 and NTC 723 from CFCLA's workshop at Goulburn to NSW Trains Broadmeadow Maintenance Centre for attention to a number of systems. The delivery was undertaken in conjunction with an Albury tour for Cruise Express.
January 2020 - Additional concrete flooring.
Additional concrete flooring has been poured in the shed. The additional area covers No.2 Road in the vicinity of the lifting frame and provides a fully level concrete area around the lifting frame for bogie maintenance.
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