Australia’s tourist and heritage railways have since their inception suffered from a parochialism that has seen a multitude of gauges, standards, policies and procedures.

The Association of Tourist and Heritage Rail Australia was incorporated in June 2004 as a National body that would represent the interests and needs of all Australian tourist and heritage rail organisations. Since that time, ATHRA has served the industry by providing a united front for the sector by representation on behalf of its members to Government statutory bodies as well as contributing to Government regulatory reviews and legislation concerning rail and tram operations and safety, from the wealth of knowledge and experience of its state members.

Current critical issues include access to affordable public liability insurance and representation of the tourist and heritage rail needs in the formation of Australia wide regulatory controls and railway codes of practice. The management committee draws on member representatives from all states and brings together considerable skills and experience. ATHRA is a member of the Australasian Railway Association (ARA)