Coal Working Group (CWG)

The working group considered the survey responses received to date. The Group considered it would be unwise to draw any major conclusions from the survey until more responses have been received.

if your organisation has not yet completed it.


Up to 31 January 2023, 50 groups have taken Public Liability Insurance (PLI) through the ATHRA negotiated product.

To date the ATHRA/Marsh insurance policies has saved our members well over $263,355.

ATHRA has also negotiated deals for:

  • Voluntary Workers Insurance (taken up by 20 groups)
  • Association Liability Insurance (Director’s Liability Insurance) (taken up by 15 groups)

ATHRA and its broker are still exploring rolling stock insurance.

Safety and Accreditation​

Regulatory National Transport Commission (NTC)

ATHRA has agreed to make its training material available to the regulator (ONRSR) under licence.


NTC: Rail Safety National Law

ATHRA notes that the existing training standard required for the operation of boilers used on railway steam locomotives no longer has relevance to these types of boilers, in that it relates to automatic boilers such as gas/oil fired boilers found in dry cleaning shops and large coal fired power stations and is exploring options with the NTC.

Rail Health Advisory Group (RHAG)

The draft of the revised National Standard for Health Assessment of Rail Safety Workers which is seeking public consultation is in the final stages of preparation requiring a further meeting to discuss current musculoskeletal examinations to determine fitness for duty. This is particularly relevant to the T&H sector as it attracts a significant higher representation of older rail workers, both volunteer and employed, who could be affected by musculoskeletal issues. This is further amplified by the fact that the T&H sector operates older equipment that generally requires a high level of manual input and in some situations significant dexterity.

Standards — RISSB (Rail Industry Safety Standards Board)

— Development of Standards

RISSB is seeking individuals with rail industry experience to become a member of a development group, to bring industry experience and expertise to the development and review of standards and codes of practice. Currently seeking development group members: November 2022
  • AS 7661 Ballastless Track Systems – ATHRA has nominated Warren Doubleday
  • Code of Practice: Driver Only Operation – ATHRA nomination Grant Holliday
  • Harmonised Network Rules: Planning Works In The Rail Corridor
  • Code of Practice: Driver Only Operation
  • AS 7497 In-Cab Train Safety Recording Equipment
  • Code Of Practice: Rail Safety Investigation – ATHRA has nominated Peter Anderson
  • AS 7505 Signalling Detection Interface
  • Guideline: Using Bio Mathematical Models to Manage Fatigue
  • Guideline: Monitoring Hours of Work
ATHRA members are asked, if you know of any person within the T&H sector that could contribute and would like to participate in one of these groups please contact

— Public Consultation

Currently open for public consultation:

January 2023

  • AS 7488 Railway Rolling Stock – Locomotive And Passenger Vehicle Flooring

December 2022

  • AS 7504.2 Disc Brakes and Pads

November 2022

  • AS 7726 Interface Between Train Control Systems and Rolling Stock
  • AS 1085.12 Railway Track Material Part 12: Insulated Joint Assemblies
  • AS 1085.19 Railway Track Material: Part 19: Resilient Fastening Assemblies
  • Code of Practice: Recruitment and Training of Network Control Officers

October 2022

  • Code of Practice: Safety Critical Operational Information – ATHRA was a development group member

Feedback can be provided through the RISSB web site: 

State reports


The Canberra Rail Museum has been busy providing maintenance service for rolling stock on hire to the Picnic Train. They are preparing to seek re-accreditation as an operator, running between Canberra and Goulburn


ATHRA NSW members met via MS TEAMS in January, and plans to meet quarterly. Upcoming meetings will be: Tuesday 18 April 2023, Tuesday 18 July 2023 and Tuesday 17 October 2023

The January 2023 meeting discussed key ATHRA initiatives (insurance, HOPS and Raildays) and updates from all members at the meeting including:

  • Cooma Monaro Railway reopened in Dec 2022
  • East Coast Heritage Railway planned to recommence the Cockatoo Run in January 2023
  • Millennium Parklands Railway (MPR) at Sydney Olympic Park planning to reopen April-May 2023
  • Valley Heights Steam Tramway reports strong patronage on open days, and a number of restoration projects progressing well
  • Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway has almost finished track restoration to Hazelgrove (6 km) and hopes to operate later in 2023
  • Transport Heritage NSW reports two major projects underway: Loop Line Upgrade Project – 18 km to Colo Vale, and Chullora Heritage Hub
  • Transport Heritage NSW plans to run more Sector Development days in 2023


    Pichi Richi Preservation Society — normal services planned to commence in March after annual off season pause.
    The National Rail Museum reported strong visitation at both the Port Adelaide site and Semaphore Railway.

    SteamRanger reported a funding package from the SA Government to undertake major remediation works on bridges


    The Summer season in the State has been busy for the T&H sector with all operators reporting good visitor numbers.


    Monthly meetings of presidents of ATHRA members are convened in conjunction with Railway and Tramway Heritage Victoria (RTHV).

    RTHV has established a separate IT Infrastructure to ATHRA for Victoria specific activities, usually relating to engagement with Government entities. It primarily consists of a MS365 email communication capability and a SharePoint file management system. Thanks to the PBR It team for their assistance in establishing this.

    RTHV working groups are currently focussed on critical high priority projects including surplus material reuse from major state rail projects. A pilot project has commenced which we hope will lead to a much greater flow of rails, turnouts, concrete sleepers and ballast to the T&H sector.

    In a parallel project RTHV is working with Victrack and DoT to lease a parcel of land for use as a T&H shared hardstand for storage of items prior to allocation – The concept is to reduce the stockpiling of items at each T&H site and provide more of an allocation of limited materials based on time of need.

    Good progress has also been made on moving ahead with the allocation of rollingstock being released by Victrack at Newport East block yard and by VLine as the Classic Fleet carriage sets start to be released from service.  While the final decisions on these rests with Victrack, the RTHV working group has developed a set of principles to follow and then made allocation recommendations to assist Victrack in their decisions.

    Next key effort is to progress the review of draft Victrack land leases.

    Puffing Billy Railway (PBR) is leading the Volunteer Resources project, convening regular meetings with T&H members across the country.


    Pemberton Tramway Company ceased operations in February 2023

    Bennett Brook Railway’s 2 foot gauge NG123 boiler has now been retubed. They hope to complete overhaul and have it operational later in 2023.

    Hotham Valley Railway continues its summer operations and is preparing for the 2023 steam season.

    Rail Heritage WA continues to shuffle rolling stock for restoration, particularly placing various NG and SG locos for display at the Bassendean Museum.