AusRAIL, Market Sectors

National Railway Museum faces insurance crisis

<p>Adelaide’s National Railway Museum is facing a major crisis as the result of its inability to secure appropriate public liability insurance at an affordable level. </p> <p>Since early August, the museum has been unable to run any of its trains within the museum complex or at its popular beachfront miniature railway at Semaphore. </p> <p>National Railway Museum committee member and current vice-chair Bob Sampson said: "Visitors have been denied the opportunity to take the popular miniature steam train ride around the museum site. This has impacted greatly upon the number of people visiting the museum and bookings for special events"</p> <p>The crisis has also meant that the museum has had to review its operation of the very popular narrow gauge train ride along the foreshore between Semaphore and Fort Glanville. </p> <p>The Semaphore Tourist Railway carries over 14,000 people between October and April each year.</p> <p>Bob Sampson said: "We have also had to cancel our involvement in a special nationwide Thomas the Tank Engine event, focusing on the steam train rides we have on offer. </p> <p>"Even if the insurance issue was resolved in the near future it is now unlikely this event will go ahead."</p> <p>"In the past the National Railway Museum has conducted an annual major Friends of Thomas nine day long event at Port Adelaide, which attracts more than 10,000 visitors, but for the first time in 10 years we could not run Adelaide’s only full size operational steam train &#8211 Peronne." </p> <p>For the 2002 financial year, the largely volunteer-operated National Railway Museum paid approximately $18,000 in total insurance costs to operate the museum site and to run the Semaphore train. </p> <p>An existing quote for insurance cover for the next 12 months to provide the legally stipulated $20m coverage, stands at $60,000 – an increase of over 300%! </p> <p>Even a reduction by the State Government and local Port Adelaide Enfield Council in the statutory minimum cover down to $10 million will still mean an increase of over 250% in premiums, still well out of reach of the museum’s finances.</p> <p>Bob Sampson said: " National Railway Museum has already met the Port Adelaide Enfield Council to investigate ways in which it may be able to assist. The National Railway Museum has offered to contribute up to $28,000 towards the cost of liability insurance. </p> <p>"With the Semaphore operations and general tourist season due to start soon, it is imperative a solution to this problem is found."</p> <br />