Over two years ago the Tasmanian Government reclaimed the railway following problems including a derailment. It has been closed since then. Track needs renovation and rolling stock and engines need major repairs and maintenance. Heritage railways are difficult to operate as commercial ventures and the most successful tend to be run by volunteers.
The Ida Bay Railway Preservation Society Inc is a community-based, not-for-profit registered charity. It was formed to save this railway for the people of Tasmania and visitors to enjoy. The railway has stunning scenery and a rich history that deserves to be told. It is also heritage listed.
The Government and the Society have now signed a Licence that offers hope that the railway can be brought back into operation. At the same time the Government has given MONA/Dark Labs the go-ahead to plan for an art installation to the west of the rail/depot site. The site will need to provide visitor access and amenities for this as well as the railway. The Society has had productive discussions with the proponents and heritage architects about how this can be done while preserving heritage values and ensuring the railway can be brought back to life.
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