- Wednesday 04 February 2015
The Sunshine Coast hinterland has a rich history and it’s so critical that we preserve it. One part of Nambour’s history is the sugar cane locomotive line, which has been a feature in the streetscape for almost 100 years.
As you may know, I want to see this track brought back to life with a tram between the Heritage Precinct (near Coles) and the old marshalling yards (near Aldi). And, the recent feasibility report, commissioned by Council has revealed 77% of people surveyed agree it’s important for Nambour. I’m also thrilled that over 30% of those people are keen to volunteer with its operations, which will help significantly with keeping costs low.
With this report complete and funding of the tram slated for discussion at an upcoming Council meeting, I would like to clear up a few misconceptions I’ve heard. In future columns, I’m going to bring you along on the journey with regular updates.
The truths about our tram
- It will be a point of interest for visitors and boost Nambour’s tourism; provide public transport within the town, connecting to the train station and bus terminal; and be wheelchair compliant, making travel around town easier for people with disabilities.
- The proposed tram is a two-foot gauge (the distance between the rails), solar powered electric battery model, and will be the only one of its kind in the world running on a heritage rail line. There are no electric overhead cables like the old Brisbane and current Melbourne trams. Think of it like a solar-regenerated direct current electric forklift motor, only much more powerful.
- This type of tram requires very little maintenance. The track was only re-laid a few years before the mill closed, meaning it’s in great condition. The only construction required is 100m of track at each end, and as the weight of the tram is so light there will be minimal wear and tear on the tracks.
Rounding off for now, Rogo.
First published in Nambour Weekly on February 5, 2015