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A PLAN to build a 450-metre miniature train track in Hervey Bay could come to fruition if members of the Hervey Bay Men's Shed can get the backing of local train enthusiasts.
Men's Shed president Ian Jones said the idea to set up the attraction in Hervey Bay was in its early stages but recent talks with the Fraser Coast Regional Council indicated they may be able to secure some land if the volunteers could get the project rolling.
To do that, Mr Jones is calling for any mini train enthusiasts to come forward to help with the site selection, advice on setting up the railway track and the many other infrastructure elements involved in setting up the venture.
"There's a fair bit or work to go but we are confident that this is something that we can do," Mr Jones said.
"We have a very talented group of people; I'm a fitter and turner by trade, we have metalworkers and woodworkers, so it's well within our capabilities to do this.
"We are looking for people who are train enthusiasts or perhaps have a locomotive that we can lease or do something with.
"Train enthusiasts will be able to guide us with how we go about this a lot better than a bunch of old blokes in the men's shed who really don't know much about model trains."
Mr Jones said proceeds from the $2 train rides would help reduce the fundraising workload of its ageing members, while also giving train enthusiasts a place to play.
The organisation helps address health and well-being in men from all walks of life by giving them a place to work with their hands, talk to like-minded people and do something meaningful with their time.
"We do sausage sizzles at Bunnings, we run raffles and do all those things but it's not raising enough money to keep an organisation of this size going.
"Most of our members are 70 years and over and spending the day cooking sausages in the middle of summer - someone is going to fall over one day and I'm worried about that."
Mr Jones believes the train park would become a valued tourist attraction in Hervey Bay.
"A ride on one of these trains for $2 is cheap entertainment and little kids love riding on trains," he said.
"There's a very good market for it here and it will be well supported - I'm absolutely certain of that."
People interested in the project can contact Mr Jones on 0417347721.
Email fletch1942@bigbond. com.au, to find out more.
This article first appeared on www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au
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