Glenorchy’s trains get back on track

7 June 2023|Community News| Off Comments off on Glenorchy’s trains get back on track|

The Tasmanian Transport Museum has officially re-opened the former railway line through Glenorchy, 65 years after the last passenger train ran on these tracks.

After nine years and more than 5000 volunteer hours, the one-kilometre section of rail between Elwick and Grove Road has been repaired and can now be used by the museum’s steam engines and railcars to transport passengers.

The train will run every Sunday. The museum plans to have the train running to Chigwell by 2025, and has a long-term goal of re-opening the line all the way to Granton.

Having started his career back in 1966, train driver Tony Coen is excited to welcome passengers back onto the south line after such a long break.

“I used to run up and down this line almost every day and to be the first to drive a locomotive C22 on it since 1958 is really exciting,” he said.

“It was a little boy’s dream to become an engine driver.

“From a young age, I decided that once I left school I would work on the railway as an engine driver and that is exactly what I did.”

After a nearly 50-year career Mr Coen now drives trains voluntarily at the Tasmanian Transport Museum.

“The opening of the track is an important first step for ensuring rail services remain in Tasmania,” he said.

Museum president Rod Prince said the smiles on launch day made the countless volunteer hours all worth it.

“Being able to officially re-open the track was such a fantastic feeling,” he said.

“After such a long process to gain accreditation, it was a day I wasn’t sure I would see.

“Rail has a very low profile in Tasmania because it is a freight-only operation that primarily operates at night, meaning people rarely see trains on our tracks.

“There is a huge desire to have passenger trains return to Tasmania and this accreditation is a turning point in getting back out onto main lines.”

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The Glenorchy Gazette is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in the Glenorchy municipality. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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