WITH the toot of a historic whistle, dozens of locals climbed aboard the packed-out 1920s express to Narrandera on Sunday.
The vintage locomotive pulled into Griffith Railway Station early Sunday morning to pick up a load of excited passengers – from the old-hat travellers to those who’d never before set foot on a train.
With a brief stopover in Leeton, the one-hour journey offloaded passengers in Narrandera for a full day of activities to celebrate the town’s 150th anniversary.
Organiser Neville Kschenka was rapt to see tickets sold out for the ride aboard the Lachlan Valley Rail train.
Mr Kschenka said the children were thrilled to be able to go into the driver’s cabin and get in on the action.
“The little kids really enjoyed that, they got to sit up the front and blow the horn,” Mr Kschenka said.
“A lot of people commented on how well-maintained it was.”
Mr Kschenka’s own family – including his 99-and-a-half year old mother – enjoyed a trip in one of the wood-panelled cabins.
He said his mother fondly recalled many train trips over the years, back when roads were not quite the standard they are today and rail was the most common mode of transport.
“Even for my generation, the main form of transport out of town was trains,” he said.
“It was fabulous – it brought back a lot of fond memories.”
The self-propelled engine has since rattled off home to Cowra but Mr Kschenka hopes it will return again.