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Friday, June 21, 2024

Heritage carriages gifted to WA railway project

The Shire of Murray Council’s Pinjarra Heritage Railway Precinct Project has been gifted nine heritage railway carriages and four heritage brake vans from long-term Pinjarra resident and Hotham Valley Railway stalwart, Colin Taylor.

Shire President, David Bolt said the generous donation means the Shire now owns assets
that can be refurbished to live a new life as short-stay accommodation or food and beverage venues.

“Through the Pinjarra Heritage Railway Precinct Project, we are unlocking Murray’s
potential as a central point for world-class heritage railway experiences. The donation of
these heritage carriages represents another step towards this vision and we are incredibly
grateful to Colin for this gift,” said President Bolt.

Mr Taylor says his lifelong passion for the railway and locomotives stems from his upbringing.

“My grandfather spent his working life as a steam engine driver on WA’s railways. Naturally,
I became interested in locomotives as a small boy and had good grounding on how they
worked from a young age,” he said.

(L-R) Shire of Murray CEO Dean Unsworth, Shire President David Bolt, Hotham Valley Railway General Manager Ian Willis and Colin Taylor.

“This passion followed me through to adulthood and I have been involved in railway heritage for many years. It will bring me great joy to see these carriages live again and witness their history shared and celebrated.”

The Murray Heritage Railway Project seeks to revitalise existing landmark sites and heritage assets within Murray to stimulate visitation, create jobs and attract significant new
investment.

Through the project, the Pinjarra Railway Station is earmarked for an exciting revitalisation
and – subject to funding – will be redeveloped as a thriving regional culture, arts and heritage destination.

“Inclusive of a heritage railway museum, visitor centre and café, event spaces, destination
play space, community facilities the precinct will celebrate and pay respect to the past
whilst enabling contemporary activities, legacies and stories to be created,” added Mr Bolt.

“Colin’s donation put us another step toward our aspirations for the area. On behalf of the
Shire and my fellow councillors, I’d like to thank him for the incredible donation,” he said.

Another important element of the project is the reconnection of the Pinjarra to Dwellingup
Heritage Rail Link.

Hotham Valley Railway General Manager, Ian Willis who has also been part of the 50 year
journey with Hotham Valley, was the original owner of the carriages donated by Mr Taylor.


Shire of Murray CEO Dean Unsworth and Colin Taylor sign the deeds to nine heritage rail carriages and four brake vans.

They were purchased to be pulled behind the world’s most famous steam locomotive –
Flying Scotsman – when it visited Western Australia for the Australian Bicentenary in 1988.

“These carriages are iconic not just for the Murray Heritage Railway Project, they are iconic in their own right. Being part of Australia’s Bicentenary, and having travelled across the country, they have a lot of stories to tell,” said Mr Willis.

“Once refurbished the train carriages will add unique experiences for those that visit Pinjarra via the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway.

“Thanks to Colin’s kind donation, the future is bright for railway heritage in Murray,” said
Mr Willis.

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