Alan and Marian Bridges from Mulwala are miniature rail buffs and have been working tirelessly behind the scenes for eight years to get a miniature railway up and running in Wunghnu.
And now, at the recent ordinary meeting of Moira Shire Council, their efforts have been realised with council unanimously approving the Moira Miniature Rail Inc (MMR) amended application to construct a miniature railway on the Wunghnu Recreation Reserve.
“The initial work of the MMR commenced with a plan to build in the Moira Shire at Wunghnu, starting out to raise funds while seeking a suitable home for the permanent track,” Alan said.
“The Wunghnu Recreation Reserve is an under-utilised area of public land with only the Goulburn Valley Vintage Tractor and Farm Machinery Club and Moira Miniature Rail as the current users.
“The whole club membership is focused on building a first class facility which will be open for public train rides at least twice a month, it also will be available for birthday parties, corporate functions and so on and will host invitational days with enthusiasts coming from other miniature train clubs.”
This will be the first public miniature railway in the whole of the Moira Shire, and the club was confident the complex would quickly become a popular attraction within the shire.
“MMR is very grateful to its sponsors so far,” Alan said.
“Moira Shire has helped greatly over the years with grants to build the first club-owned train, ‘Little Moira’, and steel for making the track.
“The Bendigo Bank has also been a major and generous sponsor of the club, helping us to acquire vital equipment and materials.
“The club is seeking further sponsorship or partnership to assist in constructing the station and other structures on the site.”
During the course of raising funds, the ‘Little Moira’ train has carried more than 35,000 passengers to date on the club’s portable track.
Cr Marie Martin said she was very excited this project was coming to fruition.
“The Moira Miniature Railway Club has paid great attention to detail and this will be a wonderful addition to Wunghnu.”
Cr Peter Mansfield congratulated the club on their perseverance and hard work.
“This will be a great asset for the shire as well as a great asset for the Wunghnu Recreation Reserve,” Cr Mansfield said.
“It is good to see these reserves are still getting use.
“These type of things will happen more in the future when the rural population declines slightly and we have to find other uses rather than football for these reserves.”
Cr Kevin Bourke thanked the Moira Miniature Railway Club and also acknowledged the work council officers put in to get this project approved.
“We have now a very good outcome and it has great tourism potential,” Cr Bourke said.
“It is something a little bit different in this part of the world.”
Anyone interested in the miniature railway project can contact the MMR Secretary Laurie Kennedy on 03 5862 1048.