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".
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.
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
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
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".
Can Use The Trains?
present, this depends on availability, and the type of train you wish
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
If you wish to discuss just "what's possible" then you should email
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.
Managing Director....................................Ed Sutton
Train Presentation.....................Alan Tonks
Associate Director/Spares................Nicole Buckley
Director/First Aid Officer.....Steven
of the public can apply to become SOCIAL MEMBERS
number, no voting rights).
months with the company social members can apply to the Board of
Directors for FULL MEMBERSHIP
(limited to fifty members, full voting rights).
there a need for two Electric Train Preservation Organizations?
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.