Thursday, 13 July 2017

Rail Renovation Down Under

A group of history-loving train enthusiasts has launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring back an important piece of Australia’s rail history by restoring a 65-year-old train which was once the backbone of NSW passenger travel. The 900-class DEB set was ahead of its time when introduced in the late 1950s and early 60s. 

A team of 30 volunteers is working to restore the historic train back to its former glory. The 900-class restoration team has been working hard to prepare the train for its move from the Hunter region to the Riverina, where the provisions and facilities for the restoration are set up. Head of the restoration project, Ross Jackson, said: “We are keen to get stuck in and return this important piece of NSW heritage back to the iron ribbons. “We are always looking for people with passion and skills to help with the project, from mechanics and electricians to fabric conservation. We’re extremely grateful for all the support given so far and hope that more people will get involved in bringing back a new tourist attraction for NSW.”

Once completed, the train will able to carry 180 passengers for trips across NSW and beyond. The Benefit of the DEB set’s design means that the train will be able to travel to smaller communities that heritage steam trains are unable to reach. The train is air-conditioned with a buffet car and is ideal for rail cruises across the Australian countryside. The affordability of the DEB set also means that hiring the heritage train for events or tours is easy and cost-effective. Ross Jackson said: “We are determined to retrace the old routes the DEB once ran to show the public and NSW railway towns a piece of forgotten history that once connected our rural communities.”

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