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AROUND 5000 visitors streamed into Werris Creek over the weekend as the town celebrated its rich rail heritage.
President of the Australian Rail Museum and organiser of the event, Chris Holley said he was delighted with the massive crowds which had visited the town over the weekend.
"It's just been enormous, the whole event has had a huge response," Mr Holley said.
The weekend saw the official opening of the Australian Rail Monument, which displays the names of the thousands of rail workers who died in building the rail network around the country.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Transport, John Watkins, was on hand to open the memorial, addressing the crowd about the enormous sacrifice made by many rail pioneers.
Mr Holley said the memorial had stirred the emotions of many visitors who recognised the names featured on the wall.
"It's been both an exciting and emotional experience for a lot of people, particularly those who have seen the names of relatives and friends on the memorial," Mr Holley said.
And while the memorial offered a chance to pause and reflect on those who have lost their lives on the tracks, the weekend was far from a solemn occasion.
RAAF flyovers, hot air balloon rides, parades, music and entertainment, arts and craft displays, market stalls and all manner of other attractions ensured visitors to the town were kept well-occupied.
But Mr Holley said one of the biggest highlights was the heritage rail trips to nearby Quirindi, Breeza and Tamworth.
"The trips sold out within minutes of going on sale and people were so keen to get on board the steam trains, it was unbelievable," Mr Holley said.
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