Allan Blackman with the Gold Mining and Historic Museum’s latest attraction, a miniature railway, starting on Australia Day.
Allan Blackman with the Gold Mining and Historic Museum’s latest attraction, a miniature railway, starting on Australia Day. Renee Pilcher

All aboard the mini railway

VISITORS to the Gold Mining and Historical Museum on Australia Day will enjoy the wonderful world of miniature railway aboard the museum's latest star attraction.

The Gympie and District Historical Society will operate its replica underground locomotive for the first time, taking passengers young and old for "scenic" rides around the track at a top speed of 4kmh.

The one-third scale replica of a Gympie Eldorado underground electric locomotive (on display in the machinery section of the museum) is the first of three locomotives planned for the mini railway.

Project leader Ralph Richardson is restoring two additional miniature steam locomotives due to join the fleet once the track's lumps and bumps were "ironed out".

At this stage, the travelling speed might also be increased to 8kmh.

"This bit of ground was a swamp," Mr Richardson said of the mini railway's location.

"We couldn't do much else with it because it goes underwater when it floods. The track is flood tolerant...the concrete fittings will still be there after the water subsides."

The railway was funded and constructed by the Gympie and District Historical Society to the tune of $10,000.

A further local history link comes from the station shelter which was salvaged from the Theebine-Kilkivan line by Clyde Kunst.

It was named Clyde's Hut in recognition of his contribution to the museum.

The railway was expected to operate on museum market days and on other special occasions, and would be available to private enthusiasts by arrangement.

This bit of ground was a swamp. We couldn't do much else with it because it goes underwater when it floods.

Gympie Times


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