News

Railway volunteers score their accreditation

BACK ON TRACK: Retired train driver Ray Gamble with train 1919 at the 10th Glenreagh Timber Festival at Glenreagh. Photo: Leigh Jensen
BACK ON TRACK: Retired train driver Ray Gamble with train 1919 at the 10th Glenreagh Timber Festival at Glenreagh. Photo: Leigh Jensen Leigh Jensen

VOLUNTEERS of the Glenreagh Mountain Railway are thrilled to see their pet project back on track with the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator finally giving it the thumbs up to carry out rolling stock operations.

While there's still much work to be done before the tourist railway can carry passengers again, the accreditation handed down earlier this month is a major milestone and the volunteers are celebrating.

GMR media officer Phil Buckley said he expected more than a few people would be surprised as many had written off the project as mission impossible.

"Some of those armchair critics will be eating humble pie now we have achieved this," Mr Buckley said.

"And it really is an amazing achievement for a small team of dedicated, loyal and focused volunteers.

"It's taken five to seven years of paperwork and filling out forms, crossing every T and dotting every I."

The accreditation allows GMR to commission, maintain, repair, decommission and operate rolling stock for three specific activities which include track and infrastructure maintenance, and shunting or rolling stock within the Glenreagh West yard.

It also permits work to be carried out on GMR's steam locomotive 1919, diesel railmotor CPH 11, carriages and freight wagons within the Glenreagh West depot.

"The ability to use track maintenance machines will now allow us to continue further sleeper replacement and track rehabilitation activities to the east of Lowanna utilising our stock of second hand timber sleepers," he said.

"Reconstruction of our railmotor can now recommence and we will be making every effort to begin removing the casings and other external items from steam locomotive 1919 to allow us to carry out a thorough inspection of its boiler to determine the extent of any corrosion.

"Our other urgent priority will be to move our two HFO end platform cars under over so that we can prevent any further deterioration and make some necessary repairs.

"This event marks the beginning of what we expect to be an exciting time at GMR."

Mr Buckley is hoping the announcement will bring more enthusiasts and volunteers out of the woodwork.

Glenreagh Mountain Railway Inc owns more than 30km of track between Glenreagh and Dorrigo, however the majority of this needs to be replaced;

GMR is a non-profit community based association run entirely by volunteers with the goal of restoring the line and rolling stock and operating a heritage steam tourist railway on the GMR owned section of the Glenreagh-Dorrigo line;

Similar volunteer operated tourist railways, like Puffing Billy in Victoria, are enjoying record levels of patronage, last year carrying 284,536 passengers and contributing an estimated $50m a year to the economy;

Accreditation for GMR expired in January 2008 - the last public steam train ride was in December 2008;

More members and volunteers are needed to help carry out the work. Visit gmr.org.au or phone the secretary on 6654 5350 for details of upcoming working bees.

Topics:  glenreagh



Highway upgrade at Halfway Creek making progress

Works are progressing quickly on the Halfway Creek to Glenugie section of the Pacific Hwy upgrade. The project is due to be completed by the end of 2017.

Progress is being made on highway upgrade at Halfway Creek

NDIS prompts more training

Uni creates Disability Management courses

Christmas has arrived in Grafton

CHRISTMAS CHEER: Santa arrives at Grafton Shoppingworld on Saturday, ready to have his photo taken with all the kids in the Clarence Valley.

Santa has arrived at Grafton Shoppingworld

Local Partners

Sea planes land on the Big River

The Sea Planes Pilots Association were in Grafton to enjoy a weekend on the Clarence River


Bringing their Magic Mojo to Grafton

MAGIC: Head down to Roches Family Hotel for a brilliant mix of '70s, '80s and '90s music by Magic Mojo, a Coffs Coast band using their experience to give a brilliant performance.

Powerful trio to lift the top off Roches Hotel tonight

Catch Saturday night fever at the South Club

GEEZ WIZZ: Get your dancing shoes on for the UK Bee Geez Show.

The UK Bee Geez Show delivers a realistic tribute to pop legends

Audience in for a rare treat from husband and wife duo

Husband and wife Adam Eckersley and Brooke McClymont are playing at home this weekend for an intimate gig at the Pelican Playhouse.

"We love playing these up close and personal acoustic shows”

What's on the small screen this week

Ernie Dingo stars in the TV series Going Places with Ernie Dingo.

ERNIE Dingo stars in a new travel series and Seven airs the AACTAs.

Mandy Moore feels like she's 60

Mandy Moore sees herself as a 60-year-old rather than a 32-year-old

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

David Attenborough on facing his mortality

Sir David Attenborough in a scene from the TV special The Death of the Oceans.

Life without Sir David Attenborough is hard to imagine

Saying "I do" changed Shia's outlook on marriage

Shia LaBeouf has a new outlook on marriage since he tied the knot.

Singer tunes in to first movie role

Tori Kelly voices the character Meena in the movie Sing.

Musician Tori Kelly voices Meena the teenage elephant in Sing

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

How your home can earn you big $$$$ this Christmas

This luxury Twin Waters home rents out over Christmas for more than $6000 a week.

Home owners earning thousands renting out their homes this Christmas

2000 jobs at multi-million dollar Ipswich project

INSIDE: Artist's impressions of the interior of the new Eastern Heights aged care precinct.

Sub-contractors needed to build $15m aged care facility

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!