The reinstatement of the rail link between Kandos and Rylstone hasn’t necessarily guaranteed the return of a motorised train to this year’s show, but 2018 will still be significant for the route.
Work on re-opening the rail line has been underway since late 2017, with little time wasted since the announcement of $1.1 million in funding for the project back in October.
One of the goals for this year was to once again bring visitors from Lithgow to the Rylstone-Kandos Show in February on the ‘Rylstone Rambler’.
While this may not come to fruition the Kandos - Rylstone Rail Heritage Precinct – a partnership between the Kandos Museum and Lithgow State Mine Railway - are looking further down the track.
They are hoping to make 2018 a “shakedown year”, as they work towards their goal of making regular services out of the Capertee Valley journey and Kandos-Rylstone-Kandos rides.
The sleeper replacement is being done and the ballast for the line arrived last year. The signals are next on the agenda.
The work is scheduled for completion around June.
The group had also been hopeful of getting a motorised train to bring visitors from Lithgow through the Capertee Valley to the Rylstone-Kandos Show in February, where it will also provide joyrides between Rylstone and Kandos, effectively as a show ride with tickets available at the event.
However, the previous train, which was nicknamed “Rylstone Rambler” for its time at the show, has been relocated to Byron Bay.
Another has been sought by Lithgow State Mine Railway, however, the train needs work and they’re currently trying to determine if it will be ready in time.
Kandos Museum president, Buzz Sanderson, said the bigger goal for 2018 is making the train a regular service.
“The longer term prospect is making it more than a once-a-year event,” he said.
“By the end of 2018 I would like to see us having established; once-a-month Lithgow to Rylstone, as a product; as well as Rylstone-Kandos-Rylstone shuttle [weekends], for visitors that are already in Mudgee as part of their experience in the region. So this is going to be a bit of a shakedown year and a learning exercise in how to put those things together. And knock the rough corners off.”
“The Museum has taken over occupancy of the Kandos Railway Station, we’re doing a bit of a cleanup there, and going to turn that into a bit of an annex and put some display material down there,” Mr Sanderson said.