JUST if and what degree of compensation will be worn by the commonwealth in the wake of the bushfire drama is yet to be determined but if compensation is to be paid the Zig Zag Railway should be first in line with its hand out.
So too should those Lithgow businesses destroyed in the first 24 hours of the fire that is still menacing communities in its path almost two weeks later.
Just how many blows can the Zig Zag people take without deciding enough is enough?
It’s well over a year since the world famous tourist railway was forced to cease operations while attempting to meet requirements of government regulators.
While the members have battled to get back on track they have had constant setbacks from looters who have been stealing all manner of metal fittings from the rolling stock and ancillary fittings to sell to scrap metal dealers.
It has been a relentless onslaught.
Then there were the flood rains of early this year that led to further very costly problems including land slips.
The setbacks have been relentless.
And now the bushfires have swept through, wiping out rolling stock and infrastructure including a major workshop.
These are setbacks that would cripple the most successful of tourism operators anywhere.
The loss at Zig Zag is likely to be in millions and without help this could be the final knockout blow — the fire coming as it did within days of an optimistic forecast that passenger runs may be resumed by the end of the year.
The Zig Zag Railway was not the only major victim.
To read what Zig Zag needs desperately head to the front page of today's Lithgow Mercury.