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Memo on: Future of 3801 - 18 November 2006

The following memo was issued by 3801 Ltd for 3801 Staff and Volunteers on 18th November 2006 following meetings between Vince O'Rourke and representatives of the committee appointed by the Minister of transport and both the Rail Transport Museam and 3801 Ltd.


TO: All Staff and Volunteers
FROM: Arthur Tubby
DATE: 18 11 2006
SUBJECT: Future of 3801


On Friday 17th November the Board and General Manager of 3801 Limited met with Mr Vince O'Rourke and representatives of the Committee appointed by the Minister of Transport to determine the future of locomotive 3801 and make recommendations to the Minister re the future of Rail Heritage in NSW. Mr O'Rourke made it clear that he was charged to try and find ways how the Rail Transport Museum and 3801 Limited could work closer together.

Early in the meeting Mr O'Rourke made it quite clear that locomotive 3801 would be returned to the custody of RTM after the 26th November and this decision was not open to further discussion or negotiation. Shortly after the 26th the locomotive was to be transferred to Hunter Valley Training Company for assessment of its condition. After the assessment it is to return to Thirlmere and will be maintained and operated out of Thirlmere. Mr O'Rourke expressed the opinion that he believed an arrangement where the locomotive was "shared" by both groups could be reached if there was good will on both sides.

Mr O'Rourke then went on to outline the Committee's recommendation to the Minister re the future of Rail Heritage Operations. The Committee is to recommend the formation of a new organisation to administer all aspects of Rail Heritage. This organisation would have a representative from the RTM and 3801 Limited on the Board but would also have professionals from marketing, tourism, RailCorp etc. with the objective of raising the profile of Rail Heritage to a much higher level.

3801 Limited was invited to be involved in the planning and development of this new organisation. In the interim it was expected that both organisations would continue their current operations in a collaborative manner, hence the suggested "sharing" of the locomotive. If 3801 Limited chose not to participate in the development of the new organisation it was free to continue to "do its own thing” but would be outside the changes and plans proposed for the future of Rail Heritage.

Responding to a question Mr O'Rourke indicated that he saw that eventually both the RTM and 3801 Limited would be absorbed by the proposed new organisation. He also indicated that the same message had been given to the RTM.

Your Board indicated that it would consider the proposal put at the meeting and would respond to the Committee next week. The Board is currently seeking outside advice as to the Company's position and an appropriate response.

Arthur Tubby

General Manager