One last train journey for Tim Fischer

 

Tim Fischer has taken one last train journey before the former deputy prime minister is farewelled at a state funeral in the NSW city of Albury.

In a celebration of Mr Fischer's passion for railways, his coffin made the one-hour journey from The Rock to Albury railway station this morning on a 1930s train, which was greeted by a large number of locals.

Hundreds gathered in Albury to fairwell to the former deputy prime minister.

Mr. Fischer, 73, who lost his battle with acute myeloid leukaemia will be remembered by friends, family and political colleagues - including former prime minister John Howard - for his extensive contribution to public life in Australia.

Known for his love of trains, Mr. Fischer took one last ride on a special carriage from The Rock to Albury station.

"Wellwishers are invited to watch Tim's train as it makes its way on the main line into Albury at 9.30am," his family said.

The coffin of Tim Fischer at Albury Railway Station. Picture: Mark Jesser
The coffin of Tim Fischer at Albury Railway Station. Picture: Mark Jesser

 

Tim Fischer is being farewelled at a state funeral in Albury. Picture: Zoe Phillips
Tim Fischer is being farewelled at a state funeral in Albury. Picture: Zoe Phillips

"Tim's train will remain at the Albury railway station until 11am and members of the public will have an opportunity to pay their respects to Tim from the platform."

Mr Fischer died at the Albury-Wodonga Cancer Centre last week, surrounded by close family members.

The 73-year-old had been fighting acute leukaemia for the past 10 months, and cancer for the past decade.

His death prompted an outpouring of praise for his achievements from across the political divide as people remembered his passionate advocacy for rail and veterans affairs.

The former deputy prime minister died at the Albury-Wodonga Cancer Centre last week.
The former deputy prime minister died at the Albury-Wodonga Cancer Centre last week.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Nationals leader Michael McCormack and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese will attend the service.

Former Nationals leaders Barnaby Joyce, Warren Truss, Mark Vaile, John Anderson and Ian Sinclair are also expected to attend.

Mr Fischer was deputy prime minister in John Howard's government from 1996 to 1999 and leader of the federal Nationals between 1990 and 1999. He supported Mr Howard in staring down angry rural constituents during the introduction of Australia's tough gun laws following the Port Arthur massacre. Mr Howard will attend the funeral.

After returning from a tour of duty in Vietnam, the former soldier entered the NSW state parliament at 24 before being elected to federal parliament in 1984. He is survived by wife Judy Brewer and sons Dom and Harrison.