Ideas for railway tourism

Region focus: Collie Railway Station Group president Jeanette MacLaren-Hall hopes to see future tourism opportunities. Photo: Thomas Munday.

Region focus: Collie Railway Station Group president Jeanette MacLaren-Hall hopes to see future tourism opportunities. Photo: Thomas Munday.

COLLIE residents and Collie Railway Station Group have called for future tourism opportunities for the Collie to Cardiff railway line. 

Railway Station Group president Jeanette MacLaren-Hall said the railway line, although expensive, would draw large numbers of tourists and train enthusiasts to town. 

“The mining, timber and railway are our heritage – why would we want to lose that heritage? If those things die, who is going to tell our kids about the heritage of Collie?” she said. 

Mrs MacLaren-Hall said the Railway Group had devised plans to transform the Collie to Cardiff line into a tourist attraction in the early 2000s but was unable to carry out operations due to the insurance, expensive costs and man-power needed for the project. 

Collie residents recently took to social media to devise plans for the remaining sections of the railway. 

Shire of Collie president Wayne Sanford said the Collie to Cardiff railway line presented numerous tourism-related prospects for Collie. 

“At this point the Shire has made no plans or enquiries to Brookfield Rail about the portion of rail reserve from Collie to Cardiff,” he said. 

“The obvious benefit of access to the portion of rail reserve from Collie to Cardiff would be the link to the Collie Motorplex and Lake Kepwari, the ability to use the reserve for walk and riding trails is also attractive.

“The preservation of Collie’s history and historical sites is important and we have a number of interest groups and individuals who are active in this area.”

The Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA), at its Annual General Meeting earlier this year, resolved to advocate to the State Government and Brookfield Rail to take over unused rail reserves for passive recreational use.

WALGA chief executive officer Ricky Burges said the issue would be addressed at the September State Council meeting. 

“WALGA’s Annual General Meeting provides members the opportunity to raise items concerning them and gauge overall feedback from the sector,” she said.

“Resolutions from the AGM then go through our WALGA governance process through zones and State Council for a formal WALGA policy position that will inform our advocacy in this area.” 

A Brookfield Rail spokesperson said the company requires Public Transport Authority approval for access to rail freight corridors for non-railways purposes. 

“Brookfield Rail has in the past and will continue to work with third parties through the PTA in assessing specific requests to use rail corridors for non-railway purposes,” they said. 

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