THE rail revival in the Bathurst region continues after a contract was signed to restore part of a branch line between Oberon and Tarana.
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And the restoration trackwork is due to start by the end of the month.
Dubbo company Complete Asset Management signed a contract to do the work for Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway (OTHR) when both parties met at Bathurst recently.
OTHR says approximately 5.6 kilometres (from Oberon to Hazelgrove) of the old 24km branch line will be restored so it can run a train as a tourist attraction that, it is expected, will attract thousands of visitors.
The finalisation of the contract follows a $1.5 million Federal Government grant being given to OTHR.
OTHR says the trackwork is, weather permitting, likely to be completed by October and it intends to start rail operations by about the middle of 2023.
It says there are a number of compliance issues to work through, including driver training updates, upgrades to locomotives and carriages and obtaining all regulatory compliances.
"The execution of this contract is most significant for OTHR, Oberon, the Central Tablelands and Central West," OTHR president Greg Bourne said.
"OTHR was formed in 2006 with a vision of restoring the branch line and running a tourist train operation.
"After much blood, sweat and tears by past and current volunteers, the vision is becoming a reality.
"The line was officially suspended in 1979 and, some 43 years later, it is about to come back to life."
OTHR says Complete Asset Management, the successful tenderer for the work, provides a quality specialised workforce to the Australian rail industry throughout NSW and has the flexibility to work within other states.
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