On TRACK!    The Stringybark Express  Newsletter

On TRACK!    The Stringybark Express  Newsletter JANUARY 2000


SATURDAY January 29th, is the 121st Anniversary of the Wahgunyah Line's opening. Although the eventual format of the celebrations is somewhat dependant on the progress of the Rail Safety Accreditation application, the Association plans to mark the occasion  with a short ceremony and to use the event for the inauguration of  the Stringybark Express initiative. The Association has extended an Invitation to  Civic and other local leaders, Tourism and Railway  officials  to be present at the Celebration, set for 2pm at the Rutherglen  Station in the vicinity of the  Highway Railway Gates.



Corowa Council have adopted a  "wait and see" policy with Stringybark Express proposals for the Corowa line. In discussion with the CEO, Ian Rich , Director of Corporate Services indicated that the on-going success of the Wahgunyah venture would encourage Corowa to participate in plans for the cross-river initiative . In the meantime   a Development Application  was suggested  for the proposals


Coincidentially  the Heritage Section  of the State Rail Authority and the Shire announced plans to  upgrade the Corowa station facilities creating a Corowa Rail Heritage Centre. Dr Stuart Sharp SRA's Heritage Officer, indicated that   Stringybark's local operation using horse- power could become part of an on-going historical exhibit demonstrating the use of horses in yard operations.


Addressing the November meeting of  the Corowa and District Tourist Assocation, GreenTRail's  CEO, outlined the Stringybark Express proposals for an horse tram operation  within the environs of the Corowa station and the eventual long term plans for re-opening the whole of the  Railway to in-bound tourist specials. As a result, the C&DTA has proposed a joint operation  in the placement of a float in the Federation Day



Nothing presents a worse picture to the public than a scruffy, unkept ROW, unpainted   and in-need-of attention structures . Jobs on Offer:

Further slashing and trimming up of  weeds and undergrowth.
Level crossing infrastructure restoration and painting
Rutherglen yard buildings - Repair & Paint
Gardens and Re-vegetation program
Signage &  Stopping Places


Most of the proposed  RS will be purpose-built. Preliminary discussions
have been held with rail engineers at the pre-design level

Jobs on Offer:
Modifications to current road trailers to allow hi-rail use
Preparation and placement of hi-rail equipment for member vehicles
Work on interim Horse Tram unit
Work on any other acquired rail units


Community  -amongst the various dictionary definitions for this word one may find a body of people living in a certain area and having common rights, responsibilities and interests. For Tourist Railways, more often than not the body of people has been anything but local and indeed one of the important factors in the early success of such preservation ventures as Puffing Billy was the nearness of the suburbs of Melboune within which lived the enthusiasts who saw the need and had the vision to create a successful Heritage Railway.

From the outset the vision for the Rutherglen Rail Initiative- as it was, rested in the fact that an important community asset was going to waste and though not closed officially was out of service. (And so also for the Corowa railway). Thus whilst tourism must be the prime  motivation for the success of the Stringybark Express,  the description of the  planned activity has necessarily included the word Community:

* Because it is hoped that the venture is something the community will choose to be part of  because it is planned that the restored asset will benefit the
community of the district
* Because the railway is something 'they' haven't entirely got rid off yet -and perhaps like a town without a bank or medical centre or something else we thought was essential, the people can get to and open their own bank or service centre -and now with an acorn venture grow an again useful railway service.

On another Track - if you'll pardon the pun -  the suggestion is that certain Tourism Authorities have a poor view of Tourist Railways - Now one could wonder why, or perhaps not search too widely and understand the reasons for such an attitude.  Whatever,   it is planned that the Stringybark Express will become  a tourism   project without which the Region would be all the poorer and within its niche opportunities become one of those experiences that make all the difference to a visitor's day amongst us.

Green Light!! - as Railway people say -  Let's go!
David R. Moyle

WEB http://greentrail.homestead.com .   Web Page promotes GreenTRail action!!!


'First Day'   Souvenir Postal Covers - now available.
Includes  map,  illustrations and memorabilia.
AUSTRALIA     (Post Paid)      $5.00         Includes Opening Day Pass
OVERSEAS    (Post Paid - Air Mail)     $5.00    Includes  Honorary Member

Chq,   M/O,   ( $5 -note/s  - Fold inside envelope  in separate piece of paper) or  Credit Card (Min $10)
GreenTrail Associates - PO Box 27 Wahgunyah 3687. or bigtreeco@telstra.easymail.com.au

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