The ATRQ has purchased a number of SD 1032 universal wheel gauges to be on sold to member organisations. Monitoring of wheel wear and condition should be an important part of an operating railways maintenance system. Worn wheels increase the risk of derailment and their condition should be regularly checked and monitored. The advantage of this gauge is that quantitative measurements can be taken of flange and tread wear on the wheel. The advantage of this gauge over the G345 or G292 gauges that most organisations will have, is that the current crop only provide for go / no go condition. Allowing a wheel to wear down to condemning limits severely affects the life of the wheel, due to the amount of metal that needs to be turned off it to restore the profile. There is evidence that providing for a light skim early in the wear cycle can greatly increase wheel life – some sources suggest at least doubling the life of a wheel. The SD 1032 can assist in this as tabling the results of inspections will allow the wear rate to be mapped, and therefore allow railways to nominate a ‘running limit’ and nominate a future date for re-profiling.

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ATRQ Skills Register

On 18/10/2012, in Members, by Mike

The ATRQ is about to embark on a project to create a skills register. The purpose of the register is to document any specific railway, trade or technical skills that exist within each organisation. This will provide for a record that is accessible to other member organisations when trying to source a method of obtaining rail safety critical services or skill that might not be available within their own railway. As an example, CKS recently re-leaded a number of fusible plug for the NSW Powerhouse Museum 38 class locomotive.

Organisations will be contacted by Peter Ford from ATRQ to commence the development of the register. Not only should you nominate your internal skills, but if you have a contractor or local workshop that has developed any valuable skills, they should be nominated for inclusion in the register as well.

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Support called for the Valley Rattler

On 29/09/2012, in Members, News, by Mike

The following is a press release from the Mary Valley Railway:

Gympie’s Valley Rattler is calling to its supporters, friends and patrons to assist in keeping the iconic tourist attraction up and running heritage steam train tours through the beautiful Mary Valley.
The heritage steam train operator has kept its four days a week services operating through the last two years of adverse conditions – flood and an extended tourism downturn – thanks to the dedication and commitment of staff and volunteers. (There was also a brief suspension of services in July which turned the usually profitable July and August into loss months).
“The Valley Rattler needs revenue to continue our current range of operations” said Jim Walker, General Manager of the not-for-profit community organisation. “Normally the MVHR relies on a good winter-to-spring season to support activities through the leaner summer-to-autumn months. However, the July suspension of services has seriously degraded that revenue flow.”

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Notice of Annual General Meeting

On 10/09/2012, in Meeting, by Mike

The next Annual General Meeting of the Association will be held at The Workshops Railway Museum North Ipswich on Saturday 13th October 2012 commencing at 9.30am.

Business to be conducted as per the Rules of the Association is to

(i) receive the statement of income and expenditure, assets, liabilities and mortgages, charges and securities affecting the property of the association for the last financial year;

(ii) elect members of the management committee;

(iii) Any other notified business.

Nomination for positions on the Management Committee must be received by the Secretary before 9.30am on Saturday 22nd September 2012. If sending by post, please send c/- Brisbane Tramway Museum, PO Box 94, Ferny Hills Qld 4055.

A management committee nomination form can be downloaded from here.

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The ATRQ has been invited to attend a meeting with the National Rail Safety Regulator, Mr Rob Andrews, during early October. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss any issue or concerns from the Queensland Tourist and Heritage sector.

If any ATRQ groups have some points they wish to have raised with the Regulator, they are welcome to submit them to the ATRQ President  by email . Submissions will be vetted to ensure that only relevant issues and concerns relating to rail safety and national regulation will be raised. A response (or request for clarification) will be made for all submissions.

And just to save some typing, submissions along the lines of “we don’t think rail safety regulation is needed for our group” will not be entertained. We are looking for topics, ideas or concerns that if addressed, will benefit the T&H sector across the entire state.

ATRQ Members interested in obtaining surplus Queensland Rail Heritage Carriages have an opportunity to bid for three wooden  cars that have become available. Please contact Kristine Clarke at Queensland Rail Heritage direct for more information.  The cars are BL 574, 768, 774, photos of which are in the gallery below.


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At the last ATRQ meeting, Queensland Rail Heritage announced that certain heritage diesels and equipment will be made available to registered heritage groups on a custodial arrangement. In simple terms a custodial arrangement is where Queensland Rail Limited will retain the ownership of the asset, but will allow the recipient group to restore and operate the equipment on their railway. The asset is transferred for the princely sum of $1.00.  Oh, and the cost of transport to your site.

The assets offered are those that cannot be funded or stored by either Queensland Rail Heritage, or Queensland Museums, due to budgetary or space constraints. If homes cannot be found for this equipment, the most likely future for them is at the wrong end of a scrappers torch.

More information can be obtained from Kristine Clarke at Queensland Rail Heritage. Items available are shown in the Gallery below


New Book: Built by Bundaberg Foundry

On 27/05/2012, in Members, by Mike

ANGRMS latest book, written by John Browning and Brian Webber has been published. Featuring information about the steam and diesel locomotives produced by this famous Queensland Company. It is available from ANGRMS or by mail order from their Sales department at PO Box 428, Clayfield, QLD 4011 for AUD $22.50 plus P&P. This is an 80 page A4 sized book containing 160 photos, mostly in colour.


ANGRMS Track Extension Commences

On 25/03/2012, in Members, News, by Mike

Contributed by Terry Olsson


The first stage of a plan to double the length of ANGRMS mainline is about to commence. (See below for update to this post)


ANGRMS has been held back in its plans to extend its track by the need to install a level crossing over Peterson Rd at Woodford. Thanks to the generosity and support of the Moreton Bay Regional Council, tenders have now been let for the construction of the level crossing. Work is expected to commence late April/early May.


There is still a lot of work for ANGRMS to do finishing off the crossing, building a new re-aligned mainline, run around loop and new platform at Storey Brook to connect the existing track with the level crossing, plus the necessary paper work such as Interface Agreements etc.

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The tourist and heritage railways will be no doubt aware that the skills to operate and maintain our aging and historic equipment is becoming increasingly rare as those with the old knowledge begin leaving our heritage organisations as age creeps up, and overtakes them. Add to that the burden of ever increasing compliance conditions, regulatory and statutory requirements, and things are becoming difficult for the survival of some groups. Not only is the passing of old skills and knowledge happening in the T&H sector, but those institutions that we once relied on for training our  new members are no longer capable of providing these services to keep some form of continuity in our skills base. So while we can’t do anything about father time creeping up on our skilled and older members, we can do something about training and bringing new blood and life into the sector.

The coming skills shortage was recognised by the Australian Tourist and Heritage Railway Association around four years ago. They orchestrated a major project to create a set of training standards that would be common across the industry and meet with regulatory approval. Ideally competencies could be assessed without reference to an overriding Registered Training Organisation, while still working within the guidelines of the Australian Qualification Framework.

Funding for the project was secured through the former Standing Committee of Rail Transport Group. David Rumsey and Associates were engaged to produce the packages, which were mapped against national transport and logistics training packages where applicable, as well as from a range of other relevant training systems  from around the country.

The results are a set of documents structured as a template from which each T&H organisation can build their own packages specific to their type of operation. Those that already have a strong training regime can use the packages as a method to check their existing system. One immediate advantage for steam locomotive operation is that the system does away with the old three levels of boiler certificate that the department of training and industrial relations used to issue (which  were suited to powerhouse boilers!) – not to mention the abandoning the old ‘reciprocating steam engine’ certificate. These certificates were barely relevant to steam locomotive operation.

In the first instance, T&H organisations interested in reviewing the lesson plans should consult the Customisation Guildelines document, which is part of the total package. This gives the actual nuts and bolts (and far better explanation than I could give) of the way the system is intended to work.

To date the following lesson plans have been developed:

  • Diesel Locomotive Driver
  • Steam Locomotive Driver
  • Tram Driver
  • Second Person
  • Fireman
  • Guard
  • Train Examiner
  • Safe Worker

In each job type, the packages are divided into four separate documents:

  • Lesson Plan
  • Knowledge Checklist
  • Performance Checklist
  • Mentors Q and A

All the documents (.PDF Versions only) are available from the Training Page (a sub page of the Resources Page) on this site. Editable Word files are available to financial ATRQ members – details are on the Training page. ATRQ recommend that in order to preserve the integrity of the system, completed lesson plans should be validated through industry peers (more details to follow) and that assessments should be done by a person other than the trainees mentor, and who holds certificate IV in workplace training and assessment. ATRQ will maintain a database of suitable assessors who are prepared to make themselves available around the state to carry out such tasks. It should be noted that the system has been approved by the office of the Single Rail Regulator,Whose position takes affect from January next year.

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