For many years, Z vans were a common sight on the end of both freight and passenger trains in Victoria. The original design dates from 1858 and some Z vans lasted in service almost until the complete withdrawal of all guards vans in the early 1980′s.
544ZL’s body dates from 1918, while the underframe (originally from 60Z) dates from 1907. This historic van is an essential part of our collection and is needed to re-create authentic branch line goods trains.
During 2001, CHTR volunteers restored 544ZL to 1960′s condition. The most noticeable feature of the restoration is the fitting of the full eight windows in the cupola. (From the early 1970′s onwards, the two centre windows were blanked out to reduce maintenance costs.) Other major restoration work includes the manufacture of new doors, the fitting of new canvas on the roof and the replacement of rotten timber. 544ZL was then painted with authentic colours and lettering for the period.
The first run of 544ZL since restoration occurred on 17 November 2001. Vintage diesel railmotor 63RM hauled 544ZL from Daylesford to Bullarto and return as a members special. No problems were experienced with 544ZL and the trip ran smoothly.
The Central Highlands Tourist Railway is proud to announce to you and the businesses, residents and visitors of the region, that they have formerly adopted the new trading name of the “Daylesford Spa Country Railway”.
This new name has been chosen to give a clearer identity of the railway as an important tourist attraction in the region. The name is supported by a new professionally designed logo, and a new full-colour brochure illustrating the attractions of the train, the Wombat Forest setting and the Daylesford Sunday Market.
“The tourist railway and its activities have become a major attraction for tourism business in Daylesford,” said railway President Stuart Smithwick recently. “Our entry surveys have shown that approximately 150,000 people visit the Daylesford railway station site annually, which boosts local businesses and shows our importance to the region.” This new trading name will improve our product identity in the market, and the focus of our promotional campaigns.
The Hepburn Shire Council were recently informed of the proposed new Daylesford Spa Country Railway name. A presentation was made by representatives of the railway Board to the Mayor and Councillors on 12 March, which included the railway’s Business Plan and Objectives, and the new name.
The railway’s objectives include:-
improvements to Daylesford station, including a visitors’ reception centre
restoration of the Bullarto Railway Station building and precinct as a heritage area with visitor amenities
the extension of the existing tourist railway through to Trentham
The railway already operates a regular Sunday Tourist Train service to Bullarto, a monthly champagne train called the “Silver Streak”, a Charter Train service for weddings and other social events on request, and the Daylesford Sunday Market every Sunday.
Copies of the new brochure will be mailed out to tourism businesses in Daylesford and Hepburn Springs in the near future.
The Central Highlands Tourist Railway, has been acknowledged for its commitment to understanding and applying industry standards in ensuring the best possible care of its collections today and in the future.
The Central Highlands Tourist Railway has achieved Registration under the Museum Accreditation Program (MAP), managed by Museums Australia (Victoria). The Central Highlands Tourist Railway joins a growing number of organisations committed to raising museum standards across Victoria through MAP.
The CHTR is a genuine working museum displaying a significant part of our railway history. A rail experience through a variety of rural landscapes is offered via historic railmotors as old as 70 years.
Museums registered with MAP:
have been independently appraised through a comprehensive written application.
are committed to improve the interest and appeal of their collections.
are working diligently to preserve and learn about particular aspects of our shared cultural heritage.
To achieve Registration in the Museum Accreditation Program (the first stage) The Central Highlands Tourist Railway has complied with industry guidelines and committed to a continuing program of improvement.
The Central Highlands Tourist Railway will now work towards gaining Accreditation, the second stage of the program. This involves working to external standards in every area of the museum’s operation, from management to marketing, collection management and conservation to visitor programs in meeting its mission and goals with available resources.
MAP aims to encourage and recognise excellence in Victoria’s museums and galleries. The state-wide network of museums is outstanding and contains collections of great interest and importance.