$1 million grant to restore Dwellingup to Boddington railway
Peel Minister Jim McGinty today re-affirmed Labor's election promise to help restore the Boddington to Dwellingup Tourist Railway with a $1million contribution.
Mr McGinty marked the commencement of the project by unveiling a public sculpture in Boddington, which highlights the history of the railway and depicts how railway gangers performed the work in the early 1900s.
"This project provides a glimpse into the past and a vision for the future," he said.
"There is significant potential for job creation through a range of heritage and tourist activities associated with the railway.
"Once the line is operational, guided tours could include visits to old mill sites, adventure and eco-tourism, stopping for bush tucker and picnics, and learning about Aboriginal culture."
Other features of the railway could include the opportunity to buy local produce and crafts, linkages to the Bibbulmun track and the Munda Biddi mountain bike trails - as well as other recreational and tourist activities.
The Pinjarra to Dwellingup railway first opened in 1910. It was extended to Boddington in 1913 - approximately 45km - and known as the Hotham Valley Branch Line. It serviced the timber railway sleeper industry, connecting with private timber railways that threaded through the jarrah forests. The branch line was also used to transport wheat and other goods from the fertile Upper Hotham Valley until its closure in 1968.
The restoration project is a partnership between the State Government, through the Peel Development Commission, the Shires of Boddington and Murray, the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway and the Rail Heritage Foundation of WA.
Construction of the railway is expected to commence this year at the Boddington end.
Mr McGinty said the role of the Peel Development Commission was to maximise local job creation, identify and address social, economic and infrastructure needs, ensure equitable access to Government services, and provide information and advice to promote business development.
First ZB arrives for South Spur Rail
SOUTH SPUR RAIL'S first ZB arrived at their Midland Workshops base on Wednesday 22 January 2003, having been transported by lowloader from Fremantle Port. ZB2129 is operational, although requires some work before accreditation is undertaken for running on WesNet Rail tracks. SSRS Managing Director James Wilson said "This is the first of four which is made up of three runners and one 90% complete which will be used for spares". South Spur rail now owns no less than 8 English Electric locomotives. [posted 23/01/03]
Click here for more information on the ZB class