TOURISM POTENTIAL: A tunnel along the Monto-Boyne Valley railway.
TOURISM POTENTIAL: A tunnel along the Monto-Boyne Valley railway. Emily Blatchford GLA040412LANK

Locals rally to save historic railway from scrap heap

AS THE State Government works to pull up sleepers on the rail line between Monto and Boyne Valley, the local community is preparing a campaign to have the corridor saved for its tourism potential.

Mungungo Pub part-owner Vicki Mackay is leading the charge.

She said a meeting between the local community and Gladstone and North Burnett regional councils this month was held because a lot of people in both regions shared a goal of maintaining the rail corridor.

"What we'd like is to be able to save the tunnels so that they're not boarded up, so people can appreciate them,” Ms Mackay said.

She admitted the tunnels were unsafe and work was needed but was adamant it would be worth it and a drawcard for tourists.

The Mungungo Pub is right on the rail line, on the other side of the range.

The train previously stopped out the front.

"Our next stage now is to nominate between Monto and the Gladstone region side,” Ms Mackay said.

"It's amazing how many families have had dad or granddad working on these railways.”

Both councils are on board and supportive of the idea.

Gladstone Councillor Desley O'Grady said people in the Boyne Valley wanted more tourism and the rail plan worked hand in hand with that.

"Once the rail lines are ripped up, that's ripping up part of our history,” she said.

"What are we going to show our kids and grandkids in future years to come?

"They're really wrecking our history if they do pull up the tracks through the tunnels.”

Cr O'Grady said there were almost 50 people from four groups at the initial meeting.

"Council has had discussions with the State Government ... but we've probably only got a short three- to four-month window,” she said.

"We need to act immediately ... part of the line has already been pulled up.”

The Many Peaks Railway Tunnel was included as part of Gladstone Regional Council's Local Heritage Register and Cr O'Grady said the council was hopeful the lines were included as part of the protection but that needed to be clarified.

The next meeting will be held at the Mungungo Pub on January 12. Everyone is welcome.



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