STEAMRAIL’S second Snow Train tourist trip for 2013 broke records on its journey to Gippsland this morning but issues in Melbourne saw the service delayed by over two hours.
Pictured: the Snow Train at Warragul this morning. All photos by William PJ Kulich.
Steamrail volunteer Jack Nicholson said the fully booked service from Newport to Traralgon was the largest steam passenger train to visit Gippsland in decades.
“This [is] the largest double-headed steam-hauled passenger train to Gippsland since the end of the steam era,” Mr Nicholson said.
The service featured two R class locomotives hauling 14 passenger cars to carry 560 passengers. At around 350 metres long Mr Nicholson said the train was around three times longer than a standard V/Line service.
Last month’s Snow Train service was much shorter and only featured one locomotive.
Pictured: approaching Warragul.
The train was scheduled to reach Warragul at 10.25am but did not arrive until around 12.30pm.
Steamrail social media updates said the delay was due to issues with signals in Melbourne.
A large number of people gathered along tracks in Baw Baw to watch the train arrive and local Margret told The Warragul Citizen seeing the train was worth the wait.
“Ten to ten we arrived (at Warragul Station) this morning,” Margret said.
“The wait very long, very long, but it was worth waiting for.
“We enjoyed it very much. It’s our first time (seeing the Snow Train).”
Pictured: departing Warragul.
The Walhalla Goldfields Railway had to reschedule its services in response to the delay with over 100 Snow Train passengers booked to ride the the tourist railway.
A club car provided passengers with free tastings of Gippsland produce.
The train will return to Melbourne tonight and is expected to stop at Warragul at 5.50pm.
Update 5.45pm: Steamrail has said the Snow Train will now leave Traralgon at 7pm.
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