Friday, 18 September 2020

West Coast attraction back on the rails


One of Tasmania's biggest tourism attractions is back on the rails.

The West Coast Wilderness Railway ran two preview trips this week ahead of re-starting journeys for visitors to Queenstown from Tuesday, September 22. 

“We are excited to be running these journeys this week and be joined by the minister and fellow tourism industry operators on board as we prepare to welcome back visitors next week” Anthony Brown, West Coast Wilderness Railway general manager said.

The railway was forced to suspend operating railway journeys in April 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

In the months since the suspension, the railway has maintained its core staff of year-round employees despite not qualifying for JobKeeper subsidies due to Government ownership. 

The team have completed a number of projects, such as scheduled and unscheduled maintenance on the track and rolling stock, station improvements across four remote stations along the line, upgrading on-board audio and visual delivery and adding an augmented reality experience.

“The shutdown has been hard on the team and we are very excited to be able to get back to doing what we do best," Brown said. 

"We’re really proud of the effort the entire team have put in over the last six months and especially in the last few weeks to get us ready.” 

The West Coast Wilderness Railway will run journeys from Queenstown from September 22.  Strahan journeys are due to resume in January 2021 on the completion of a planned track replacement project that was delayed due to the pandemic.

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