Tourism rail link on track

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - HE­LEN KEMPTON

THE Der­went Val­ley Rail­way is steam­ing ahead with plans to es­tab­lish a tourist link from New Nor­folk to Na­tional Park as it works on broader plans to carry cruise ship pas­sen­gers di­rectly to one of the state’s most pop­u­lar wilder­ness ar­eas.

Its ini­tial pro­posal, to take pas­sen­gers from New Nor­folk to Mt Field Na­tional Park, has the back­ing of the Der­went Val­ley Coun­cil and a fea­si­bil­ity study is un­der way.

Last week the rail­way col­lected some re­dun­dant track from the Mac­quarie Point de­vel­op­ment to re­use as part of its project.

Mr Owens said the group was grate­ful for the ma­te­rial given by the Mac­quarie Point De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion.

A rail group from the North-East also vis­ited the site last week to see if any of the re­main­ing rail was of use.

MPDC CEO Mary Massina said she was pleased to see sec­tions be­ing reused.

“This is about sup­port­ing tourism through­out Tas­ma­nia, not just our site,” she said.

Mr An­drews said the tourist rail pro­posal had huge com­mu­nity sup­port and it was good to see an of­fi­cial as­sess­ment of what its eco­nomic im­pact might be get­ting un­der way.

“One of the op­tions we are look­ing at for the fu­ture is to ex­tend our op­er­a­tions back to­wards Ho­bart to col­lect cruise ship pas­sen­gers and take them di­rectly to the Mt Field Na­tional Park,” he said.

“It is a fan­tas­tic des­ti­na­tion with a num­ber of short walks avail­able. The Na­tional Park rail­way sta­tion is di­rectly ad­ja­cent to the en­trance to the park.”

No trains have trav­elled the line since 2005 and the DVR’s tourism plans have been on the back­burner for even longer.

The Der­went Val­ley Rail­way Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety was formed in 1990. It bought the as­sets of the Tas­ma­nian Lo­co­mo­tive Com­pany and con­ducted short trips in the area.

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