Students get all steamed up
BELLS, whistles and steam were the order of the day at Casino Railway Station as latest star of Beef Week stole the show.
Nearly 300 Casino Public School students took a ride into history on an 1892 P-class steam locomotive.
The wide-eyed youngsters cheered as the steam train chugged out of town headed for the Kyogle loop.
Casino Public School teacher Wendy King said the thrill of the ride had dominated classes all week for the kindergarten, and Year 1 and 2 students.
“It’s become the biggest part of Beef Week for them,” she laughed.
“Some of these kids haven’t even been on a train before, and there have been reports of kids not sleeping in anticipation of today’s steam train ride.
“We’ve been singing train songs all week and we’ll be writing about it next week.”
Beef Week president Stuart George was hard at work stoking the coal-fired engine and learning the ropes from the volunteer drivers and engineers from the Lachlan Valley Railway Society, which brought the train to Casino.
“This is the first time we’ve had the train at Beef Week,” Mr George said.
“It is another great feature attracting a lot of people to Casino.
“The numbers are up this year and we’ve been overwhelmed by community support.”
The Lachlan Valley Railway Society has restored and maintained classic locomotives since 1974.
Drivers Mark Stapleton and Peter Lougher are retired XPT drivers who keep their love of the old trains alive volunteering for the society.
“This train was the old Singleton Flyer that ran between Newcastle and Singleton,” Mr Lougher said.
“It’s pretty similar to the old North Coast Mail.”