The historic steam train leaves Coffs Harbour for a run to Raleigh yesterday.
The historic steam train leaves Coffs Harbour for a run to Raleigh yesterday. BRUCE THOMAS

Choo choo chugs around the Coast

CALL it a hankering for the good old days or plain old-fashioned curiosity.

Either way, more than 1500 people had the ride of their lives when historic steam locomotive 3237 hauled them around the Coffs Harbour area at the weekend.

The Lachlan Valley Railway at Cowra organised the special expeditions which took delighted passengers from Coffs Harbour to Raleigh and Coramba.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the response. It’s been great. We didn’t expect it at all,” said train driver Peter Lougher.

“Five out of our seven trips sold out. We usually budget on 80 per cent capacity.

“For young people, it gave them something to remember and for older people it reminded them of what life used to be like. I hope we can come back.”

Built in 1892 and with five heritage carriages behind her, the restored steam locomotive burned some 14 tonnes of coal at the weekend.

School children were given a special treat on Friday when they were taken on a scenic ride from Grafton to Coramba.

The Casino, Wauchope and Taree areas have also been on the itinerary since the train arrived on the North Coast back in May.

Money from the ticket sales will go back to restoring the loco and rolling stock to preserve an important part of Australia’s engineering history.

For more details on the work of the Lachlan Valley Railway, visit www.lvr.com.au.



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