7 months ago


Right: The author’s

Right: The author’s entree dish served on the Shikoku-Mannaka- Sennen Monogatari consisted of very high standard local produce. Below: At Oboke station, on Friday 6 October 2017, a 2000 class express diesel tilt train forming ‘Nanpū express number 14’ to Okayama, overtook the Shikoku Man Naka Sennen Monogatari. The express train, takes only 50-54 minutes to travel this section, whereas the dining train takes almost three times as long. From 1989, the 2000 class diesel tilt train superseded the slower Kiha 185 diesel railcars. In 2018, however, Shikoku railway plans to introduce a new diesel tilt train with an advanced tilt mechanism. Food The food listed on the timber booklet menu began with the four-flavours tasting plate comprising tender and full-of-flavour locally-made rare wagu beef plus lotus, marinated chicken using local mint and spice plus local fruit salad and sushi using local fish served with local craft beer, followed by locally-produced roast wagyu beef with local grown rice and finished with sweets. I was surprised by the locally produced beef, as Shikoku is not known for beef production, but the beef was very tasty and easily bettered beef from other famous beef producing regions in Japan! The good food and drinks, friendly locals waving, scenic cascades and mountains, as well as luxury interior décor made the just under three-hour journey very enjoyable. These two trains, in company with Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway’s theatre dinner theme train, are game changers, offering customers more than just a heritage train ride. Both appear to be experiencing success so far. It is good to see some tourist and heritage rail operators change their image and reinvent themselves to capture interest from both the rail fan and non-railfan market, which should help them continue in business. Acknowledgment The author would like to thank Mr Masamitsu Yao for his assistance. 52 RAILWAY DIGEST

Moss Vale Sesquicentenary Ben Chatwin On Saturday 9 December 2017, 150 years (and one week) to the day after the Main Southern Railway was opened between Mittagong and Sutton Forest (as Moss Vale was then known), the railway stations at Bowral and Moss Vale celebrated their sesquicentenaries – trackwork closing the line between Moss Vale and Macarthur the previous weekend necessitating the slight delay in celebrations. With Moss Vale the more significant of the two centres, at least from a railway perspective, festivities were focused there. Formalities started when Kevin Andrews, Duty Manager Moss Vale, was presented with a certificate commemorating 50 years of railway service. After this, and following the arrival of The Rail Motor Society’s 620/720 railcar set from Paterson, which later ran four return shuttles to Mittagong, speeches were given by Paul Daly (Station Manager Moss Vale), Howard Collins (Acting Chief Executive, NSW Trains) and Pru Goward (Member for Goulburn) promising a bright future for Moss Vale and looking forward to returning in another 25 years to celebrate the 175th anniversary. As Moss Vale is the only vice-regal railway station in Australia, Justice Margaret Beazley (acting on behalf of the Governor of New South Wales, who was unable to attend) was the next to speak and took the gathered crowd on a journey through the station’s history. Over the years, Moss Vale has grown into an important station on the interstate network, having fed troops during the wars, enabling state governors to summer in the Southern Highlands along the way. In 1900 the future prime minister, Edmund Barton, even missed his train after lingering too long in the station’s refreshment rooms. There’s not much Moss Vale hasn’t witnessed. With the speeches concluded, the gathered dignitaries then unveiled a plaque commemorating the occasion, located in the station courtyard. Then came the cake. For what is a birthday party without cake? Even those not inclined to sit and listen to speeches were in for a treat. Pacific National made an 82 class locomotive available for inspection by all interested, while the NSW Rail Museum displayed a collection of railway artefacts. The RSL Youth Choir and Highland Pipe and Drum Band provided musical entertainment, and a collection of historical photos and drawings were exhibited. As a special treat, the Vice Regal Waiting Room was also open for inspection. With the local branch of the Country Women’s Association providing refreshments in the station, and Rotary outside the station, everyone was well catered for. All involved in planning the Moss Vale Railway Station Sesquicentenary celebrations are deserving of thanks and appreciation. They showed not only what can be achieved when community is involved in planning celebrations, but that railway stations continue to play a significant, and special, role in the community. While much has changed in the 150 years that Moss Vale Railway Station has been serving the Southern Highlands community, this certainly hasn’t. Above: The Rail Motor Society’s railcar set 621/721 arrives at Moss Vale station. Bob McKillop Below: Dignitaries unveil the commerative plaque. From left to right: Howard Collins OBE, Acting Chief Executive NSW Trains, Dympna Irwin (obscured), Co-ordinator, I50th Committee, Paul Daly, Station Manager Moss Vale, The Hon Justice Margaret Joan Beazley AO, P​resident of the Court of Appeal (NSW) appearing in lieu of the Chief Justice of NSW and the Governor of NSW (who were both at a state funeral in Sydney), The Hon. Pru Goward, MP, Member for Goulburn. Ben Chatwin Preservation & Tourist FEBRUARY 2018 53

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