The ATHRA migration

Another major milestone in the growth of the ATHRA national sector body occurred on Thursday 23rd August when the ATR Vic organisation voted unanimously to wind up and transfer all assets to ATHRA. See here – 23.08.18 Special General Meeting (ATR Wind Up) Minutes

That’s not the end of a Victorian voice – in fact far from it, as the Victorian members will still meet just as often as before but without the duplication and expense of running a separate organisation, so we can focus our efforts on addressing the real issues facing T&H groups in Victoria, but also having the support of others from around the country, through the ATHRA specialist Working Groups.

The ATHRA Vic coordinator is Steve Strangward and the last ATR committee will form the initial ATHRA Vic committee/working group. The next ATHRA state meeting will be at 6pm  on Thursday 22nd November at the Hawthorn Tram Depot – we are planning a full information program for the evening with a visiting presenter.  All interested people are invited to attend.  The ATHRA Vic committee can be contacted on


T&H On Site Security Surveillance

The T&H sector has not been immune from the growing amount of damage, theft and vandalism in our community which seems to be getting worse not better.  The impact to us includes:

  • increasing cost from vandalism and graffiti
  • increasing losses due to theft
  • increasing insurance premiums
  • expensive commercial security systems that do not really focus on our requirements

Recent trials of a more expensive but less functional generic, building site security solution have demonstrated the real ability to massively reduce unauthorised site access.

There is a great opportunity for us to develop a solution we can share across the T&H sector.

In Victoria we have commenced developing a portable security system specifically designed for typical T&H railway site security.  Some of the features to be included are:

  • Stand alone portable solution
  • solar and battery power
  • Sensor activation
  • high intensity LED spot lights
  • High resolution daylight and infrared cameras
  • Support for facial recognition and number plate recognition technology
  • GPS unit tracking
  • local hard drive with SIM card for real time warning and image streaming
  • remote site video monitoring

This is primarily being developed by volunteers from a couple of local T&H railways – we are interested in hearing from :

  • ATHRA groups that wish to express an interest in the project as potential purchasers of one or more units
  • ATHRA groups or individuals that wish to participate in the project development to give the ATHRA member access to the equipment at a discounted / cost price

Please send your response via email to together with your contact details and someone from the project team will be in touch.







ATHRA Membership renewals

ATHRA membership renewal reminders have recently been emailed to those members who have not yet renewed for the 2018/19 year.  Members are reminded to check and update the pre populated form data (supplied on your 2017/18 application) then return the completed renewal forms with their payment details to

If you have any membership enquiries please contact your state board member (contact details on the website) or email

New members can apply using the form here – ATHRA_MEMBERSHIP_FORM_ pdf version – Jul 2018 

Membership is a prerequisite for use of the growing number of ATHRA services such as the National Training and Assessment program or Insurance renewals as well as the benefits from other activities such as ATHRA developed RISSB standards.

Insurance Work Group

The insurance work group consists of Paul Rollason (Qld), Matt Roberts (former ATHRA treasurer and currently organises insurance for CFCLA) and David Toyne (Risk Manager). Having Matt and David on board is a real asset.

Contact has been re-established with AON to progress the ATHRA insurance needs for members. The ultimate aim is to obtain great policy terms and reduced premiums.  The way to do this is to get more of the T&H sector together and pool our needs so that we can take this to insurers and underwriters. The larger the pool – the greater bargaining power we have. Not only will this be for Public Liability Insurance (PLI) but also for other insurances such as Professional indemnityRolling stock insurance, Director’s Liability insurance, Building and contents insurance, Cyber insurance, Voluntary Worker’s insurance, Business Interruption insurance, travel insurance etc.

We have also created  one  Excel document to capture all the information required for each insurance category so that each member railway does not have to complete multiple forms and duplicating information multiple times.  This document has been circulated and the due date for response is 30th August 2018. It is downloadable from the ATHRA  website. It was distributed with the attached cover letter back in July –   Insurance Cover Letter – Ver 4 – 29 July 2018

Once the information is collected, AON will go out to the market and get 5-6 different reputable underwriters and re-insurers to submit a quote to see who will offer us the best deals.  Only ATHRA members will have access to this scheme. The more members involved the cheaper it becomes for everyone. This will be yet another huge benefit of being a member of ATHRA and could end up saving your railway thousands of dollars a year.

The Heritage Railway Association (HRA) in the UK has established a mutual scheme. This mutual is where the member railways get together and establish a pool of premiums and they essentially self insure when the pool is large enough thus saving huge amounts in premiums once the mutual is established and gets a pool of money together. The Work Group is liaising with the HRA to investigate whether it is possible ATHRA joins this scheme (which may also become a worldwide scheme for T&H railways) or whether we establish our own mutual.  There are many facets to consider here including legal ramifications however we currently feel it is well worth us working with our UK colleagues in exploring this option.

Regardless which scheme is utilised, it is essential ATHRA members stick together as the larger the pool the more bargaining power we have and we can shop around to get the best deal. This scheme will come unstuck if members then try to use the reduced premium to shop around themselves. In the short term an insurer may provide a cheaper premium for the first year or so but it will then start to increase.  Having this large pool of policies once again allows us to get the best price for members year after year. Remember a single policy for $20000 is far less attractive to an insurer than a pool of policies worth $5M.  Also note, at the end of the day, different brokers use the same limited number of underwriters and re-insurers.

If you haven’t yet completed the spreadsheet with your organisations insurance requirements, please contact Paul Rollason at