Gippsland tourist trains out of steam?
Baw Baw News
By William PJ Kulich // 20:05, Sunday 12 August 2018
707 Operations’ July service to Sale, seen in Warragul.
Heritage steam train services are incredibly popular along the Gippsland line, but one operator has expressed concerns changes to signalling could stop future journeys.
First published in the Baw Baw Citizen’s 5 July 2018 print edition.
707 Operations Inc ran a service to Sale in late June, which drew the usual crowds of onlookers as it carried tourists into the region.
But for all the fun, the journey brochure stated “the days of steam hauled heritage trains on this part of the Victorian network could soon be a thing of the past” thanks to plans for a new signalling system called moving block.
Moving block essentially puts signals inside trains, allowing them to run closer together. But are old locos compliant with these new standards and safety requirements? And what is the cost of compliance for the volunteer-run preservation groups?
707 Operations Inc and the state government did not respond to requests for comment, but a spokesperson for tourist operator Steamrail Victoria said it was “too early” for the group to comment on whether the planned changes would impact the group’s services.
“Currently the network provides access for other passenger and freight traffic on the corridor and it is our understanding that this will continue,” they told the Baw Baw Citizen.
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