Northern Rivers man snaps selfie with Prime Minister
A GOONELLABAH man has not only been a witness to a historic day in Australian railway history, but has managed to capture a selfie with the Prime Minister too.
Ken Smith, of Goonellabah, said he had been interested in the operations of public transport, in particular railway and tramway, since his school days in the early 60s.
"In the Northern Star on 29-7-14 there was an article on page 5 about the opening of the Gold Coast light rail and the fact that I have the conductors bell out of the last tram to run in Brisbane," he said.
"On 26-4-64 I rode the last train to leave Nerang, which was the terminus of the train line that had been cut back from Tweed Heads in 1962.
"The opening of the new rail service on 3-10-16 connecting Petrie to Redcliffe has finally come to fruition since it was proposed in 1884.
"It has been continually put on the reject list of projects in all this time surfacing occasionally close to election times," Mr Smith said.
"As such the 3-10-16 was a momentus occasion for it to be finally opened."
Monday was a celebration day with free trains running all day from Kippa Ring to Petrie (where the Redcliffe line joins the main line from Brisbane to Cairns) and return - and of course Mr Smith was in attendance to witness the historic moment.
The Prime Minister, Qld Premier, Redcliffe Mayor and most official dignitaries were present for the official opening ceremony on Monday before the first official fare paying running day yesterday.
Mr Smith was not only lucky enough to be at the ceremony, but he also managed to grab a selfie with Malcolm Turnbull.
"After the speeches, the Prime Minister was gracious enough to take a selfie of us together on my camera as he approached me," Mr Smith said.
"Malcolm Turnbull was a busy man as his next destination was the flood ravaged towns in South Australia."