Kyogle celebrates train centenary
ACTOR, TV personality and train enthusiast Scott McGregor will be the special guest at celebrations in Kyogle on Sunday to mark the centenary of the official opening of the Casino to Kyogle rail line.
Mr McGregor, who hosted the six-part railway adventure series Down The Line, exploring the great train journeys of Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam, will also host Sunday’s celebrations and play the part of then Minister for Public Works and Acting Premier of NSW C A Lee in a re-enactment of the official opening in 1910.
Playing the other members of the official party will be members of the Kyogle Amateur Theatrical Society.
They will all be dressed in period costume and, just like in 1910, they will arrive at the railway station in a horse-drawn carriage as part of a parade led by the Light Horse.
The parade sets out on Sunday at 9.30am.
Kyogle Council tourism officer Malcolm Wallis, who has organised Sunday’s centenary celebrations, said that the opening of the rail line on Australia Day 1910 was a major milestone for the district and a significant civic event for Kyogle.
The rail line was seen as a ‘stepping stone’ to Kyogle’s growth and prosperity and hundreds of people from throughout the district, most dressed in their Sunday best, flocked to the newly-built Kyogle railway station to witness the historic occasion.
A report in the Casino and Kyogle Courier at the time said Kyogle was decorated for the occasion, with the butter factory festooned in flags and bunting and the railway station ‘bedizened like a bride on her wedding day’.
As part of the celebrations on Sunday, Mr McGregor also will narrate a ‘trip down memory line’, detailing the history of the Casino to Kyogle line, as well as highlighting facts, events and trivia about the line and the Kyogle railway station.
The railway station will be open for inspection and there will be a static display of rail books and historic photographs.
Those attending will be also able to look through a concept proposal put together several years ago to redevelop the station as a transit centre with the aim of tapping into the expanding tourism market from South-East Queensland.
As a special attraction, a weekend holiday in Brisbane for two people travelling by rail and staying at the Mantra will up for grabs at the celebrations.
Local service groups will provide refreshments for the day.
Car parking will be restricted to the old goods yard area of the railway precinct off Ettrick Street.