NEW ATTRACTION: Rail village to draw families, preserve past
WITH pieces of Nikenbah's rich railway history sitting in an empty lot on Maggs Hill Rd, Richard Horniblow knew something had to be done to save it.
The Hervey Bay train enthusiast has revealed plans to establish an historical railway village at the old Nikenbah School on Chapel Rd, complete with a brand new miniature train track to run around the property.
Station buildings and sheds that were once part of the Nikenbah Station will be moved to the site and will showcase the Fraser Coast railway history.
Mr Horniblow, who is president of the Nikenbah Historical Railway Village, said an offer had been made by the estate of the late Reville Wayne Mohr, a former president of MELSA, for a permanent loan of a locomotive and riding cars.
"We're having an open day this weekend to get people interested and to move all the infrastructure down here," Mr Horniblow said.
The open day will be held at 1.30pm this Saturday at the grounds of the old Nikenbah School on Aalborg Rd.
Nikenbah station was built as part of the original branch line connecting Pialba and Maryborough in the heyday of coal exports from the Burrum River and sugar exports through to the Urangan Pier. Nikenbah became the centre of the local pineapple industry, with reports of up to 10 wagons leaving the siding a day. The branch line was closed in 1993.
Mr Horniblow said it was a matter of historical importance to ensure the region's railway past was preserved.
"We don't want it to disappear from the area, we want to preserve it," he said.
Nate Hill, a Hervey Bay train enthusiast, backed the new village, saying it would give children something to do.
When constructed, the miniature railway will become the third of its kind on the Fraser Coast.
MELSA currently operates another rail line in Queens Park, Maryborough, while the Hervey Bay Men's Shed is outlining a proposal to construct one near Dayman's Park in Urangan.
Negotiations between the Men's Shed and the Fraser Coast Regional Council are ongoing.