Carriages Available to ATRQ Members

On 30/06/2012, in Members, Rolling Stock, by ATRQ Admin

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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Heritage Diesels – Nearly Free to Good Home

On 22/06/2012, in Members, News, by ATRQ Admin

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 ATRQ Admin

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 ATRQ Admin

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.

Continue reading »

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Training and Assessment in the Sector

On 04/03/2012, in News, Training, by ATRQ Admin

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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DownsSteam to Host Next ATRQ Meeting

On 10/02/2012, in Meeting, Members, News, by ATRQ Admin

The next meeting of the Assn of Tourist Railways Queensland will be held on Saturday 25th February.

Our hosts will be DownsSteam and the meeting will be held at their station:

16 Cambooya St
Drayton (suburb of Toowoomba) – see map below

The meeting will commence at 10.00am to allow time for members who will be driving to Toowoomba that morning.

Morning tea and lunch will be provided by the celebrated DownsSteam chef Glynn Hughes and his staff at a cost of $15 per person.

In the evening members and partners are invited to attend dinner at the Hockey Club.
A courtesy bus will be provided in the evening between motels and the Hockey Club.

Definite numbers are required for morning tea/lunch and also the dinner,
so please RSVP before 18th February.

The agenda will include a presentation from the Rail Regulators office, and an update on the new OH&S law that commenced on 1st January 2012.

This is the first time that DownsSteam have hosted the meeting and they are keen to “show their wares” to as many members as possible.


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Gulflander Season Start Postponed

On 10/02/2012, in News, by ATRQ Admin

The Gulflander season start, originally slated for 16 Feb, has been postponed. RM93 still is still awaiting parts for it’s gearbox, while DL4 is considered too heavy due to the wet and saturated substrate of the trackbed. There are also some minor washouts along the line. This advice will be updated once more info comes in from the ‘Gulf’.

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SDSR Update

On 24/01/2012, in Members, News, by ATRQ Admin

The Southern Downs Steam Railway have been recently restructuring their management committee. While this was taking place, it unfortunately caused the suspension of train operations, bad news indeed as this occurred over the busy holiday period. This process is now complete, and they are finalising their organisation and systems, which includes accreditation aspects and identifying and securing trainers.

ATRQ welcome  and congratulate the new management committee at SDSR, and offer any support we are capable of providing to get them running again. The new Committee consists of:

  • Pres: John Brady
  • VP: Bob Keogh
  • Sec: Jan Walker
  • Tres: Adam Cole
  • Committee: Alwyn Clark, Ivor Hill, Bob Amos, Lindsay Mills, Neil Linnehan

With the forthcoming return to operations, a tentative running schedule has been released. This has been updated into the ATRQ events calendar. A highlight in the Calendar is the great train race to Goodiwindi and Tobeah, in conjunction with the Gold Coast MG Car Club during the June long weekend. More info will be forthcoming about this event either at the SDSR Website, or here in the news section.

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QPSR – Driver Experiences

On 14/01/2012, in News, by ATRQ Admin

The Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway are in the final stages of developing a steam and diesel driver ‘experience’ on their branch line. From the QPSR Promotions Manager:

QPSR is currently looking for expressions of interest from all interested parties for Steam and/or Diesel Driver Experiences, which will commence in April this year on the Swanbank Branch Line from the 2nd Mary Street crossing (3.25 km marker), down to Box Flat, the loop at Box Flat, QPSR Depot, then up the line to Swanbank Station, roughly a 12.4km round trip.

We’re still doing some fine-tuning, however we’ve agreed on pricing the Steam Experience at $499 and the Diesel Experience at $299. As a requirement by QLD Transport we do advise that you are of reasonable fitness and health, and the minimum age is 18, however if you have a parent or guardian wishing to do the course too, they can accompany you if you are 16 or over, but they must pay for the course as well, as we can only have 4 people in the cab of any locomotive, 2 qualified QPSR crewmen, and 2 guest drivers.

You can request further information from QPSR by using the Web Contact Form on our website here:-

Noting that the ARHS-Q already run a similar program at the  nearby Rosewood Railway Museum, it should be possible to undertake driving experiences on a couple of SE Queensland branch lines if you happen to be in that area.

Tentative dates for the QPSR program are 15 April, 20 May and 17 June 2012. Keep an eye on the events calendar for updates or changes.


Savannahlander Maintenance Update

On 09/01/2012, in Members, News, by ATRQ Admin

The Savannahlander is part way through their 10 week annual shut down. The shut down coincides with what is historically expected to be the worst part of the wet season, especially west of the ranges. As the crew will often tell you, it’s a bad time of year to be stuck on the wrong side of a bridge. The shut down is used for their annual maintenance program, as well as letting staff burn off some leave. Of course, when working on aged rolling stock, things often don’t go quite according to plan. The Savannahlander has posted a news item to their website and is worth a read to see what goes on during the so called ‘quiet periods’. In case you missed, here is the link.

So that’s some news from the Savannahlander. What is your railway up to? Let us know so we can publish your story here, or link to a story on your website (saves us typing). Stuff that you’re doing, while perhaps routine to your group, might assist another member group puzzling over a similar problem.