Couple working on Valley railroad
A KILOMETRE-LONG ride-on railway will be up and running in Glenugie by Christmas if one adventurous couple has their way.
Glen and Kaylene Dorè own about 40 hectares (100 acres) of ‘flattish’ land some four kilometres from the Pacific Highway, Glenugie, that they’ve dubbed Waratah Park.
The couple, who live on the site, would like to transform the Dinjerra Road bushland into a lifestyle tourist mecca complete with railway tracks (ride-on and model), model airplane courses and even alpaca wool harvesting and spinning.
And they’ve done it before – at least part of it.
The Dorès moved to the area ‘for the weather’ about three years ago from Queanbeyan, where they operated the ride-on railway in a public park.
“The council drove Glen around and showed him all the parks that were suitable – they were so helpful,” said Kaylene.
The railway was established in Queanbeyan in 2003 and ran for three years, Glen said, fetching the Best New Business Award from its local chamber of commerce after five months of operation.
“It went down really well and the kids really loved it,” he said.
The couple said they ran educational programs on steam engines for preschool and school groups, hosted picnic days, birthday parties and corporate events at the attraction.
The original train station, a metal shed along with all the engines, carriages and track, were packed up and moved from Queanbeyan to Waratah Park when the couple couldn’t sell the attraction.
This time around, the couple would like to involve neighbours in the project, and upon a suggestion from a Clarence Valley Council worker, host a Glenugie County Fair at some stage.
Glen contacted The Daily Examiner last week following the story about David Lorenzo’s shortlived Lawrence Model Railway Exhibition which was shut down due to David’s landlord’s fears of litigation.
Glen said he had talked extensively with David who was planning on visiting Waratah Park to explore the option of moving his display there.
Though Glen and Kaylene have had ‘unofficial chats’ with Clarence Valley Council, the couple said they did not want to jeopardise any development application by saying the project was ‘definitely’ going to happen.
“We’ve got experience with all the insurances needed,” said Glen, who also teaches airbrushing at his Glenugie home through the Adult Community College.
John is also a model plane enthusiast and boasted owning one of the biggest military vehicle collections in Canberra back in the day.
“I am 85 per cent certified crazy and 15 per cent mad,” said the proud eccentric.
The couple is looking for volunteers to help build the railway when the call goes out. They can be contacted on 6643 4311.