10 February 2023

Ladysmith Tourist Railway back in action

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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The Ladysmith Tourist Railway will run again after 20 years of not operating. Photo: Ladysmith Tourist Railway.

Ladysmith Tourist Railway will be open to the public again after a 20-year hiatus.

The official opening will be held on Saturday 11 February at 10 am, with Member for Wagga Dr Joe McGirr, Wagga Wagga City Council deputy mayor Jenny McKinnon and former Australian Rail Track Corporation employee Greg Verdon to attend the proceedings.

Ladysmith Tourist Railway publicity officer and treasurer Walter Bell said the organisation was excited about the opening after two decades.

“It’s wonderful … because it was our income,” Mr Bell said.

“It’s an outing for families, children and anyone.

“Back in 2003, we used to get busloads of kids from Tumbarumba and the Probus Club would come out through the week rather than the weekend.”

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Mr Bell hoped Ladysmith Tourist Railway would again bring enjoyment to the workers and the visitors.

“We don’t go really fast, it’s only 15 kilometres per hour and children love these type rides,” he said.

Ladysmith Tourist Railway began in 1995 and at the time it was known as the Regional Heritage Transport Association – Junee Inc.

It was formed to restore the Ladysmith Railway Station to its former glory and create a tourist attraction.

In 2018, the name was officially changed to Ladysmith Tourist Railway Inc.

The precinct’s museum has special displays and exhibits.

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Mr Bell said the precinct had a hydraulic sleeper inserter which pulled the older sleeper out and pushed the new one in.

“It’s a bit modern and cuts out the hard work,” he said.

Mr Bell said the Ladysmith rail line was the only station that was preserved on the Tumbarumba line.

“Recently the national rail safety regulators finally credited us to run public,” Mr Bell said. “Our last public run was in 2003.”

Mr Bell said the association was looking for “new young blood” to carry on their dream.

“We’re getting older us old fellows and we want new blood and younger ones,” he said.

The Ladysmith Tourist Railway will open to the public on the second Saturday of each month from 10 am to 3 pm. The museum will also be open.

The official opening on Saturday will include a barbecue, coffee, an ice cream van and several stalls.

The cost of rides for adults, children, and concession is $5, and for a family of two adults and up to three children, $10.

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