Steam rail firing up for blast into future

GLENREAGH Mountain Railway (GMR) is set to gain more steam this year with the addition of a second engine and a tram.

The volunteer railway at Glenreagh on the Orara Way, south of Grafton, appeals to locals and tourists.

Many will make the 40km drive from Grafton at the weekend to experience life on a steam train.

As an alternative to the steam train, GMR now has an authentic Melbourne tram, providing a travel option when bushfires threaten, as well as for outings for parties of 20 or more.

Restoration projects are progressing fast, with a rail car looking better every week, and the Coffs Harbour Showground workshop team has almost completed its first project ? the CV van restoration.

While GMR waits for funding of the Tallawudjah Creek bridge, this year will be one of consolidation.

The second steam loco, Alison, will arrive in the next few weeks.

Restoration is to begin immediately but will take some months to complete.

The works program this year will bring the construction of a new loop at Glenreagh West, together with the relocation and restoration of the old Moorland station, donated by the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA), as well as a RTA grant to ensure an authentic end result.

GMR begins its second year of operations this weekend.

GMR will also be opening on the weekend of January 21-22.

This weekend, train rides behind engine Betty will start at 10am on Saturday and Sunday, with the last ride leaving Glenreagh West at 3.30pm.

Each train ride takes about 45 minutes. There will also be demonstration rides on the Melbourne tram.

Fares have been increased to offset insurance costs. Provided there is adequate room on the train, one ticket is good for travel all day. New fares are: Adult $8; child (five to 15 yrs) $4; children under five years free. Family $20.

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