C3704 at rest
What is HET?
Historic Electric Traction is a non profit company established in NSW in 1997 to assist Sydney Trains in preserving a number of vintage electric trains in working order. The company is independent of Sydney Trains and operates as a under a custodial arrangement. Through the use of volunteer labour generously supplied by railway enthusiasts, HET effectively provides a "Subsidised" contracting service to enable Sydney Trains to retain the trains in trafficable order, instead of just "static exhibits".
HET also operate various Tours of Railway interest and special tours of locations not normally accessible to the public. We also conduct regular social outings for our volunteers and their families and friends (such as harbour cruises, etc).
Finally, HET sells surplus electric railway - related memorabilia, spare parts, books and diagrams etc, particularly at Model Railway exhibitions in NSW including the annual Sydney Model Railway Exhibition at Liverpool.
All surplus funds from the above activities are redirected into the task of subsidizing the restoration, maintenance and operation of the Sydney Trains Heritage electric fleet, providing a contracting service which would otherwise be unviable in purely "commercial" terms.
Who Owns The Trains?
HET is one of the NSW "Rail Preservation Groups" that does not own or operate rolling stock of its own. The carriages and workshop infrastructure are owned by Sydney Trains.
This structure is necessary due to the excessive costs that would arise from private ownership of working electric trains in Metropolitan Sydney.
It has been estimated that if HET were to lease or purchase rolling stock and storage / workshop facilities directly, the cost of council rates alone on the required space would be beyond the financial scope of HET.
By retaining the ownership with the NSW State Government, many operating aspects of the various projects can easily be integrated into Sydney Trains existing Accreditation, thus removing the need to "re-invent the Wheel".
Who Can Use The Trains?
At present, this depends on availability, and the type of train you wish to use.
Any individual, group or company can hire the Heritage Electric Train.but there are a few rules.
If you wish to hire a train, you need to deal directly with Transport Heritage NSW, who will give you a quotation on your proposed trip and tell you about any problems such as scheduled track work, timetable clashes and train availability.
The "Manual Door" train, F1 has special requirements regarding insurance and passenger supervision. Many NSW Rail Preservation groups automatically qualify for these requirements, along with some other transport oriented non profit organisations.
The primary factor in planning to hire a train is the availability of that train... and whether it is, or can be made ready for traffic by HET's volunteers.
If you wish to discuss just "what's possible" then you should email us.
How Does HET Work??
HET is a "Company Limited by Guarantee", which devotes any financial surplus back into it's primary goal of assisting Sydney Trains in preserving working examples of NSW electric trains, specifically those no longer in revenue service.
HET is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of seven (7) persons. One third of the directors are retired each year and become eligible for reappointment, along with any other nominees received from the company membership.
The company's operating structure consists of two distinct divisions under the control of a Managing Director. These are Maintenance Division (which maintains and restores the trains and operates the workshop) and the Traffic Division (which operates tours, memorabilia sales and promotional activities.) Within these divisions are a number of department heads responsible for various activities such as Electrical, Mechanical, Financial, Secretarial, Traffic (tours), and Workplace Safety and Supervision.
Who is HET?
Department Positions 2018:

Managing Director....................................Ed Sutton
Director, Secretary.............................Glenn Percival
Director, Treasurer....................................David Fox
Director, Mechanical Engineer............Barry Goodsell
Director, Electrical Engineer....................Geoff Moss
Director, Train Presentation.....................Alan Tonks
Associate Director/Spares................Nicole Buckley
Associate Director/Membership…..…Lorraine Sutton
Associate Director/Tours………………Michael Smith
Associate Director/First Aid Officer.....Steven Walker
Members of the public can apply to become SOCIAL MEMBERS
(Unlimited number, no voting rights).
After 12 months with the company social members can apply to the Board of Directors for FULL MEMBERSHIP
(limited to fifty members, full voting rights).
Is there a need for two Electric Train Preservation Organizations?
Historic Electric Traction and Sydney Electric Train Society

Some confusion exists as to the existence of HET and  SETS, two quite different preservation groups. This is principally  because a number of the people in controlling positions in HET previously held controlling positions in SETS prior to  June 1997.

The two organisations now have very different aims and objectives. Specifically, HET are the custodians of the Sydney Trains Heritage Electric Trains, while SETS aims include purchase and operation of privately owned rolling stock.

HET wishes SETS all the best in it's endeavours, and would like to advise that  SOCIAL MEMBERSHIP of HET is OPEN to ALL MEMBERS of the public, regardless of membership of other organisations.
So to answer a commonly asked question, YES you can be a social member of HET and a member of SETS if you wish.
© Historic Electric Traction 2003 ~ 2018