The Cockatoo Run heritage tourist train will return to the rails, travelling from Sydney and Wollongong to Robertson and Moss Vale on February 3.
Robertson Heritage Railway Station Inc (RHRS) made the announcement this week.
Former president Ian Wallace said the Cockatoo Run will recommence running from Sydney to Robertson and Moss Vale via Wollongong after volunteers from 3801 Limited spent the last 12 months making preparations.
Members of 3801 Ltd, including Peter Abba, John Glastonbury and Todd Rowling, are keen for the train to run on a regular basis.
Mr Wallace said the RHRS committee in Robertson congratulated 3801 Ltd volunteers for their persistence and hard work to make the Cockatoo Run tours a reality again.
He recalled the popularity of the day-trip traversing some of the state’s most spectacular scenery close to Sydney. And expects it will be again.
Mr Abba is among those who have been actively involved with 3801 Ltd over many years and said its return will be a great thing for Wollongong and Robertson.
“I would like to see it back on a monthly basis,” he said.
The Cockatoo Run’s first journey back will see five heritage carriages including a buffet car and a lounge car being hauled by the meticulously restored mainline heritage diesel-electric locomotive 42101.
This heritage train’s journey will start in Sydney and travel along the scenic Illawarra/South Coast line to Wollongong before ascending the Illawarra Escarpment. It will climb 600 metres through rain-forests, past waterfalls and over an historic viaduct.
It stops at Summit Tank for passengers to admire the view over Lake Illawarra and then visits the historic Southern Highland township of Robertson .
Passengers have the choice of hopping off there for a while or continuing onto Moss Vale before returning to Central Railway Station along the same route.
Mr Rowling said it was very exciting for all involved in 3801 Ltd to see the Cockatoo reliving some important Australian rail history again.
“Hopefully it will be a regular thing going forward,” he said.
“We used to run several times a month and we would be looking to do similar frequency. Where we are based at the moment it allows us to run out of Sydney”.
It is also looking for a location for future storage, possibly in the Wollongong area.
To book tickets on the February 3 run, click here.
What some Cockatoo Run passengers have said over the years:
- Cockatoo Run is time out, time away from the rush of everyday life.
- Time to relax and enjoy the scenery and conversations.
- It is stepping off the planet for a day.
- It is so different; many children have never been on a train before and it is nostalgia for the older generation.
- It is a trip for the young at heart. If you are not young when you get on, you will be when you get off! It is such fun.
- Two mothers observed that their young children were free to move around and enjoy the trip; they were not constrained in the family car seat belt. In addition, the children were perfectly safe.
- Leaving the train at Summit Tank to walk to the lookout, gives the realisation of a journey that is really going somewhere; a sense of accomplishment.