About ATHRA

 

Photo: Fowler 0-6-0DM ‘Rosalie’ (1950), Ex-Isis Central Mill at Bennett Brook Railway © Alex Kruger

About Us

Who we are

Railways were once a dominant political and economic force in developing Australia, enabling the agricultural and industrial development of the country, the growth of our major cities and providing the birthplace of many country communities by their strategic placement and the need for services. The evolution of Australian transport has seen the importance of rail shift from being the primary mode of transport to one of many well-developed transport modes.

Heritage railways provide a means of preserving, educating and demonstrating rail’s cultural and historic significance to today’s society. They account for over a third of accredited railway organisations. The heritage rail sector also provides significant economic benefits to Australia through employment, tourism and expenditure and the intangible benefits of volunteering.

For many people these organisations are now the public face of our national rail industry.

ATHRA Board (c) Lucidus

ATHRA Board Group Photo – Melbourne (Vic.) 2019 © Corbin Pratt

Our Mission

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 members.

Our Vision

In 2017, ATHRA was restructured with a new purpose to truly represent and deliver real benefits to our members – the grass roots individual Tourist and Heritage rail operators. Critical issues being addressed include establishing affordable industry based training and assessment regimen for the multitude of skills needed to safely operate railways, affordable public liability insurance, accreditation support and representation of the tourist and heritage rail sectors to the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) and the Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB). The ATHRA management board draws on a representative from each of the states and seconded specialist members to bring together considerable skills and experience for the benefit of the sector.

Our Values

The heritage of railways connects people to the days of strong communities and the importance of rail heritage has been recognised by the Tourist and Heritage Rail Sector being the largest volunteer sector looking after technically complicated equipment and infrastructure.

A primary ethos of the sector is to keep our heritage alive by the operation of heritage trains – no mean feat in today’s regulatory world. Across Australia the economic impact of the tourist and heritage rail sector was estimated a number of years ago to be in excess of $370 million.

ATHRA is a member of the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) which represents the whole rail sector.

Board Members

Office Bearers

Steve Strangward

Steve Strangward (Vic)

Chair
Victorian state representative
E. chairmanNot applicable

Paul Rollason

Paul Rollason (Qld)

Vice Chair
Insurance working group chair
E. insuranceNot applicable

Wendy Driver

Wendy Driver (Qld)

Secretary
Qld state representative
E. secretaryNot applicable

Peter Silva

Peter Silva (Vic)

Treasurer
 
E. treasurerNot applicable

Other Board Members

Peter Anderson

Peter Anderson (NSW)

Accreditation working group chair
E. accreditationNot applicable

Anthony Coen

Anthony Coen (Tas)

Tasmania state representative
E. tasNot applicable

Graeme Hind

Graeme Hind (NSW)

Training working group chair
E. trainingNot applicable

Alex Kruger

Alex Kruger (WA)

WA state representative
E. waNot applicable

Chris Le Marshall

Chris Le Marshall (Qld)

Marketing working group secretary
E. marketingNot applicable

Daniel Page

Daniel Page (NSW)

NSW state representative
HOPS working group chair
E. hopsNot applicable

Grant Robinson

Grant Robinson (NSW)

Information Manager

E. informationNot applicable

Barry Walding

Barry Walding (SA)

SA state representative

E. saNot applicable

Governance

The Association of Tourist and Heritage Rail Australia Inc. is an association incorporated under the laws of South Australia.

ABN 19 755 744 868

Read the ATHRA Constitution