RAILWAY: Ken Coulter has carried his passion for trains throughout his entire life. Photo: John McCutcheon
RAILWAY: Ken Coulter has carried his passion for trains throughout his entire life. Photo: John McCutcheon

Childhood love turns into lifelong passion

RECEIVING a train set as a child was the start of Ken Coulter’s lifelong railway passion which led him to travel the world.

By joining the Sunshine Coast Railway Modellers Society in 1987 and starting Coulter Goodall Travel and Tours Group with his partner in 1979, the Ilkley resident has carried his childhood love for trains into every stage of his life.

Mr Coulter said he couldn’t imagine what his life would have been like without his inexplicable passion.

“I’ve loved railways since I was a child: I was given a Hornby 00 train set and since then I’ve always had a love of trains,” he said.

“There is nothing like steam railways and steam trains. It’s a mechanical thing that is as near human as you can get.”

From Russia to India, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and the United Kingdom, Mr Coulter organised and operated countless train tours around the world and owned Australian-based travel agencies.

The Sunshine Coast Railway Modellers Society vice-president said transforming his love for steam trains into a career had been a natural progression.

“It was a hobby that rolled on through to a career,” he said.

“When we were in our teens, we used to spend our summer holidays volunteering on the heritage railways in the UK and then that interest just kept going … through to when we started our own company.

“I’m very lucky, really. You don’t make a lot of money out of a travel company, but it was the fun of travel and the glamour of going on trains and travelling a lot.

“You’d get home and before you got over the jet lag, you’d be off again.

“Sometimes you’d hear the plane’s engines start up and you would think ‘oh God, not again’ … but then you got there and it was fantastic.”

Although 5000 people visit the Nambour miniature trains every year, Mr Coulter said he was worried about the preservation of steam railways.

“We need younger people coming in to learn it. It’s an urgent thing because if we don’t get the younger volunteers coming in, we won’t have a railway,” he said

“No one will have the skills to repair them.”

Now retired, Mr Coulter continues to operate worldwide train tours. However, he merged Coulter Goodall Travel and Tours Group with Railways Tours Worldwide, which now manages the financial side of the business.



VIRUS FEARS: Quarantine worker tests positive in NSW

VIRUS FEARS: Quarantine worker tests positive in NSW

Quarantine worker tested positive to COVID-19

Coffs Harbour’s newest bar takes stock of new trends

Premium Content Coffs Harbour’s newest bar takes stock of new trends

Public flocks to Slo. Vino And with its dazzling array of all natural wines, craft...

Alleged child sex offender to spend Christmas with mum

Premium Content Alleged child sex offender to spend Christmas with mum

THE man’s bail conditions has been varied in order for him to spend the holiday in...