Record numbers for steam trains

ALL ABOARD: The steam train arrives at the Warwick station.
ALL ABOARD: The steam train arrives at the Warwick station. Sean Teuma

SOUTHERN Downs Steam Railway had over 800 reasons to celebrate Jumpers and Jazz in July.

Over the course of the two weekends, the group experienced a record number of passengers over the 11-day festival.

Secretary Bob Amos said they were delighted with attendance figures across the trips.

"We had over 800 people come through during the festival," Mr Amos said.

"It's pretty safe to say that is a record.

"These numbers are certainly encouraging, and it's great to see that so many people wanted to come down and experience the steam railway."

Six trips in total were run over the course of the last two weekends, with the morning sessions consisting of a return trip to Hendon, and the afternoon journey off to Wheatvale.

Many of the 800-plus passengers were from out of town, with Mr Amos amazed by the diversity of the crowds.

"We experienced a great number of tourists that came through our gate," he said.

"People from Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast rode on the train.

"We had interstate visitors come from New South Wales and Victoria, as well as a family from Germany."

While it was a feat for the not-for-profit organisation, Mr Amos said they couldn't have got the job done without the help of volunteers.

"I would like to offer a big thank you to every single volunteer that has helped out, both on the day and in the background," he said.

"From the crew at the station through to the train service team and people working on the trains, everybody did their bit and more.

"They helped to put on a great service for all our valued passengers."

Mr Amos said he has received a lot of positive feedback from the festival.

"People said that they enjoyed the unique heritage experience," he said.

"They commented on the steam engine, and the feelings of nostalgia that the experience gave them.

"Passengers have also congratulated us on restoring the steam train and keeping it going.

"We're growing in popularity, and it is a great thing for the district."

Topics:  jumpers and jazz jumpers and jazz 2017 southern downs steam railway steam engine tourism

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