Community

A toot tootin’ big upgrade for a mini Riverina attraction

Edwina Mason9 January 2022
John Holland crews

It was all hands on deck as John Holland crews pitched in with the upgrade to the Yanco Miniature Railway. Photo: Supplied.

The big train operators have rolled into Yanco to help the little train operators get back on track.

In a warm-hearted demonstration of community spirit, workers on the $60 million Junee to Griffith track upgrade recently donated their time and resources to help upgrade the Yanco Miniature Railway.

It’s been a long time since the wheels have done a round of the track for the popular tourist attraction, located in the small village near Leeton in the Riverina, which has been closed to the public since February 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Materials

Materials from the major Junee to Griffith project were used for the upgrade. Photo: Supplied.

But evidently once a train buff always a train buff, as the John Holland crew used the closure time to step in to spruce up the model train exhibit, which opens to the public each month.

John Holland project manager Gareth Beynon had visited the miniature railway and, amazed by its replica miniature-scale model train ride, decided to lend a hand.

In late November, the project team carried out a working bee at the miniature railway, donating timber sleepers and surplus track from the Junee to Griffith project.

These materials were used to upgrade the miniature railway’s existing 800-metre track and begin work on an extension.

Yanco Miniature Railway Club president Terry Ward said workers put new gravel on the tracks, mowed grass, removed overgrown vegetation and began excavation work for a future tunnel.


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“I cannot thank the crew enough,” he said. “We’re hoping to reopen early in 2022 and are excited to welcome back families to our upgraded miniature railway.”

Meanwhile the 174 kilometre Junee to Griffith upgrade project – which is expected to provide a more efficient freight link to port as well as domestic markets – is scheduled to be completed in early 2022.

Mini railway

There was the opportunity for a bit of a ride when the work was done. Photo: Supplied.

Capacity on the rail line is being increased to support heavier trains with an expected increase in train speeds for some train configurations between Junee and Griffith.

Museum Miniature Railway runs train rides on the last Sunday of each month, weather permitting. It’s located in the Yanco Powerhouse Museum grounds on Binya Street in Yanco, NSW with rides $2 each for all ages.

Please call 0488 528 212 to verify trains are running as scheduled.

If you’re considering a day trip out to the Murrimbidgee Irrigation Area, this part of the world is home to two major RAMSAR-listed wetlands.

A Ramsar site is a wetland site designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention

Fivebough Wetlands and Tuckerbil Wetlands, which provide scenic walks through spectacular landscapes, captivating birdlife watching (or twitching), and sites of great significance to the local Wiradjuri people.

For more information, click here.

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