A MEETING on Tuesday between the board of the Zig Zag Railway Cooperative and a government appointed consultant was a positive step towards returning the world famous tourist railway to operation, according to acting general manager Michael Forbes.
The heritage railway has been forced to halt passenger services since June 17 when its permits were withdrawn by the Independent Transport Safety Regulator over claimed safety breaches. NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian subsequently instructed Transport NSW to investigate what was needed to resolve the situation.
On Tuesday the consultant met with the board at Clarence station to provide details of his completed report.
That report now goes to Transport For NSW and to the Minister.
Mr Forbes said yesterday the meeting had been a positive one and would now form the basis of discussions between the Zig Zag board and Transport NSW, probably as early as next week.
“We think the report is OK,” Mr Forbes said.
“It shows a way forward and hopefully next week we will know if Transport NSW will be supportive.”
He said the board would then meet with stakeholders including Lithgow Council to see how quickly the recommendations can be translated into action.
“We felt the consultant’s report was fairly positive,” Mr Forbes said.
Yesterday Minister Berejiklian also issued an update.
She said she had previously instructed Transport for NSW to meet with the organisation to see how it could meet the necessary safety obligations in the longer term and had set a one month time limit for the report.
She said Transport for NSW organised a safety expert to help Zig Zag Railway assess their safety management system and provide advice on the steps needed to deal with the safety concerns.
“The safety expert has now provided a report to TNSW which is being considered in detail,” she said.
“Initial feedback I received late Thursday is that there are safety, organisation and financial issues which are all affecting the long term viability of the Zig Zag Railway,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“I will consider advice and recommendations from TNSW once they have considered the report in full.”