The Merriwa railway line is in northern New South Wales, Australia. The line branches from the Main North line at Muswellbrook and travels north through Sandy Hollow to the town of Merriwa. The line was completed to Merriwa on 29 October 1917, however the section north of Sandy Hollow closed in 1988. The section between Muswellbrook and Sandy Hollow, combined with the Sandy Hollow-Gulgong railway line forms the Australian Rail Track Corporation's Ulan line between Muswellbrook and Gulgong on the Gwabegar (Mudgee) line.
Restoration of Sandy Hollow to Merriwa section Edit
There have been several attempts to launch a rail preservation group to restore and maintain the Merriwa rail precinct and the section of line between Sandy Hollow and Merriwa.
A small group tried to form a preservation society (which was to be called Merriwa Railway Museum) to restore the station and goods shed to their original condition, as well as the railway yard including the historic steam era turntable and steam locomotive water column. The aim was to restore the line and have a steam locomotive run on it again using historic New South Wales Government Railways rolling stock. It was intended for tourists and train enthusiasts alike. This group was started in early 2002 but failed to progress.
Another attempt was made in 2007, but also failed to proceed past internet speculation.
In December 2009, a new railway society, The Merriwa Railway Society Incorporated (MRS), was legally incorporated. Consultation has been undertaken with Upper Hunter Shire Council, the Australian Rail Track Corporation and the Independent Transport Safety and Reliability Regulator.
The main Society webpage is found at http://www.merriwarailwaysocietyinc.org. The MRS was officially launched in Merriwa on 24 October 2009, with the launch being attended by over 42 locals and rail enthusiasts.
Since August 2009, the intentions and plans of MRS have been reported in 5 regional and Sydney based newspapers and on the local Upper Hunter ABC radio station, increasing local residents' awareness of the heritage railway restoration plans.
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