GMR finally back on the right track

GLENREAGH Mountain Railway has finally received its Notice of Accreditation under the Rail Safety Act (2008) as a Rail Infrastructure Manager but is still a long way from running trains.

The Independent Transport Safety Regulator accreditation became effective on October 11 and covers the full 35km of line which GMR owns.

GMR infrastructure manager David Page said the document was only the first stage of a long process for GMR to be up and fully operational. Work will begin immediately on gaining accreditation as a rolling-stock operator.

"One of our first priorities is training volunteers to carry out track maintenance activities to bring sections of our railway infrastructure up to a standard for operations," Mr Page said.

He said the process for developing infrastructure training was well advanced, with the construction of a new workshop at Lowanna to store railway machines and equipment needed for training purposes.

Railway safety induction training to meet the new national standards will begin late this month, followed by a program of track-work training.

Mr Page said the operation of the Glenreagh Mountain Railway's steam loco 1919 was still some time away, but they were getting a quotation for work on the boiler which had been found to be older than previously known, with a second-hand boiler having been installed by the NSW railways at some stage.

He said they also intended to begin planning for the restoration of Rail Motor CPH11 early next year and would be applying to ITSR for approval to carry out these activities.

"We are hoping to be able to begin work as soon as we have received that approval," Mr Page said.

"It is hoped that next year members of the public will once again see our fleet of track machines back on the rails busy helping with track restoration. All these activities will require considerable resources and funds and we are therefore looking to raise our membership numbers.

"We can promise a variety of interesting work to help us achieve our goal of once again having an operational heritage railway."

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