Push Gathers Steam to Restore a Historic Loco
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A Canberra lobby group has asked ACT planning minister Mick Gentleman to buy one of the closed railway museum's train carriages at auction next month using a $2 million levy recently redirected into his portfolio budget.
The administration of the Canberra Business District Levy was recently handed to the ACT government's new City Renewal Authority, after being doled out by In the City Canberra for almost a decade.
While In the City Canberra is a not-for-profit organisation, it recently came under fire for allegedly failing to provide basic city maintenance and amenities, like public rubbish bins or fixing holes in the pavement.
The Canberra Railway Museum closed last November after its freight company was placed into liquidation.
Historical items will go under the hammer on August 2 to pay creditors.
Since the $2 million per year levy now sits in Mr Gentleman's portfolio, the Braddon Forum this week approached him to to acquire a "suitable historic carriage" to place in a section of Lonsdale Street or in Haig Park.
"Such a placement would highlight the past historical use of Lonsdale street as the original rail line into Canberra," director of the Braddon Forum Peter Conway wrote.
Remnants of the city's temporary construction railway line remain underneath Lonsdale Street, Mr Conway told The Canberra Times.
According to ACT Heritage Council documents it was connected to the existing line at what is now Kingston with a temporary bridge over the Molonglo River in 1921.
The bridge was washed away in the 1922 flood and never reinstated so the line became redundant.
Mr Conway said placing one of the historical trains in Braddon was a nice nod to the industrial heritage of the area.
A spokesman for Mr Gentleman said the government would not purchase any rolling stock at auction but was working with museum members and the liquidator to help keep some of the important pieces in Canberra through a new organisation.
The Braddon Forum also recently approached the ACT government to consider naming several of the new walkways through Haig Park after Canberrans involved with World War I, including nurse Alice Robinson and stretcher bearer Ernest Corey, or after the historical use of the area.
The suggestions included Railway Lane for a pathway near Lonsdale Street, Stable Walk on the Turner side for the old racehorse stables associated with the Acton Racecourse, or Internment Walk to reference the internment camp which was at the site of the Canberra Outlet Centre.
This article first appeared on www.canberratimes.com.au
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