While we were on holiday last week, we spent a fantastic morning at the Glenreagh Mountain Railway – located between Coffs Harbour and Grafton in NSW. Please see their website for more information on timetables, the trains and the work of the volunteers.
While we were admiring the train, some of the fantastic volunteers offered Patrick (our resident train fan in the photo on the left) a look in the cab where he was thrilled to see the controls up close and pull the whistle. We cannot thank these people enough for making this the experience of a lifetime for Patrick who is still talking about how lucky he was – we really appreciate your generosity.
We had a very enjoyable ride on 1919 or “Betty”. This locomotive is currently 127 years old and was built by the Beyer Peacock Locomotive Company in Manchester, England in 1878. 1919 arrived in Australia in December 1878 and entered service for the NSWGR as No. A114 of the A93 Class. This loco worked at various locations including the Glenreagh to Dorrigo line from 1953 to 1958 – great to see this train working again on one of its old routes. Coincidentally, 1919 spent a number of years working the Oberon to Tarana line where Patrick’s grandfather grew up – as he knew the driver and fireman quite well, he used to be given rides many times as a small boy.
We recommend a visit to the GMR for anyone visiting the area. Working steam trains are not easy to find these days and a ride on this one is a very enjoyable outing (good value for money as well). We hope the volunteers of the GMR achieve their dream of repairing the line all the way to Dorrigo. We will certainly be back to see the progress.
However, we had to come back to work eventually so am in the middle of grading up the last few weeks of mine production and cataloguing some new jewellery just received. Please check our our websites in the next week or so to see the new additions online.
Cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire.