INTERESTED: Railcruising owners Neil and Jane Oppatt hope to have Railcruising operating on the Southern Downs by this time next year.
INTERESTED: Railcruising owners Neil and Jane Oppatt hope to have Railcruising operating on the Southern Downs by this time next year. Contributed

Railcruising hopes to run by next summer

UNLESS you have been to Rotorua, New Zealand, you have most likely never heard of Railcruising.

However the Southern Downs could be next in following Rotorua's lead, with the company looking to expand across the ditch.

Railcruising creator Neil Oppatt said he hoped to have Railcruising up and running by this time next year.

"By summer next year, I would like it to be running," Mr Oppatt said.

"I have been in discussion with the Southern Downs Steam Railway and their committee, looking at our options.

"I have also been in discussion with Queensland Rail for about a year, going through the process."

Railcruising is a small, four-person hybrid cart that travels up to speeds of 20kmh on a line.

The carts are operated from a central operating centre, meaning occupants can simply enjoy the ride - although there is an emergency lever to slow the cart down.

Mr Oppatt said he had chosen the Southern Downs because of the line.

"The railway is available because it has little use, which makes it a good location," he said.

"It's also a fantastic line. There are a couple of tunnels along the way, some bridges and some fantastic scenery."

Mr Oppatt said he had no doubt Railcruising would be a success on the Southern Downs.

"I think it would be great for Southern Downs tourism," Mr Oppatt said.

"I have no doubt people would come in large numbers to go Railcruising.

"People would come to the Southern Downs just for the Railcruising."

Southern Downs Steam Railway secretary Bob Amos, who has travelled on the Railcruising in Rotorua, said it was a unique experience.

"Having tried it, it's a great concept," Mr Amos said.

"It's a nice experience to be able to see the track in front of you, because on a train you're normally looking out the side windows.

"It was a very pleasant experience."

A Queensland Rail spokesperson said the organisation wanted to help boost tourism.

"Queensland Rail is committed to connecting communities and supporting tourism in Queensland," the spokesperson said.

"We have been contacted by Railcruising who are interested in offering their service on the Queensland Rail regional network.

"No decision has been made regarding this service, however we are currently working with Railcruising to understand their requirements."



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