AFTER years of planning, lobbying authorities, volunteering, fund raising and dreaming, the Derwent Valley Railway is set to roll again with the lease to operate on the heritage rail signed last Friday.
The Derwent Valley heritage rail was excluded from the state rail system in 2006.
Ever since a group of dedicated volunteers have worked hard to refurbish locomotives and rail heritage.
“Tomorrow we will take over the first section of the Derwent Valley Line with refurbishment work to start on the line in early 2022,’’ a spokesperson said.
“We can’t wait to welcome you aboard soon.’’
Last week, the Derwent Valley Railway Preservation Society also secured funding from the Tasmanian Community Grants program.
More than $124,000 will be spent on the construction of a fully fitted out and operational rail workshop for use as a community training facility to improve skills and employment prospects in the Derwent Valley.
Now that the lease is signed, volunteers will be able to work on refurbishing the first section from Third Avenue and Back River Road, in New Norfolk, and allow it to be connected to the DVR yard and workshop.
While doing this work the remainder of the line to National Park will be surveyed, so the lease for the next stage to Plenty can proceed, trains will then run and link up with the Salmon Ponds and Plenty Cider. Work will continue with stage three to National Park.
The volunteers behind the rail want the service to cater for many activities, including the transport of canoes, bikes and camping equipment.
“This trip up the Derwent Valley and on into the Tyenna Valley is full of many magical moments, from open farm land to hop fields, and ending in natural forest,’’ a DVR spokesperson said.
“There are three main bridges crossing the Derwent River giving unforgettable views up and down the river, this along with the colour of the trees in autumn will install life long memories.
“All this wouldn’t be happening without the dedicated volunteers who have work tirelessly for the last 15 years to see this project to fruition.
“With work now ramping up the society is asking for help with either joining as a member and or volunteering you services and help speed up the building process.
“It is not necessary to have a skill, in most cases these can be taught with training.
“In saying that if you are a skilled person we’re looking for welders, fitters, machinists, electricians, motor mechanics, carpenters, or any other trade.’’