Now two months since their inaugural run, the Byron Bay Railroad Company is thrilled with the response to the local train service. The train now operates seven days a week and Friday and Saturday night services will be the next addition.
While the train, the worlds first to run fully on solar power, has caused a stir nationally it has been in international media that the project has truly been celebrated. “Obviously solar and sustainability media have covered the story but the amount of mainstream media across the world that have contacted us has really blown us away” said Geoff Clark, Byron Bay Railroad Company’s Rail Safety Manager. “Just this week we are being covered in the Evening Standard and Independent in the UK and Le Monde in France. Getting front page coverage on a Japanese solar magazine was fantastic. As was the story in The Times of India. For a tiny heritage rail operator in regional Australia it’s a bit surreal”.
Back in Byron Bay, the Kendall Street level crossing continues to be a concern.
A disturbingly high number of motorists are still driving across the railway line without looking, let alone stopping at the stop sign.
The Byron Bay Train runs between North Beach Station at the end of Bayshore Drive in Sunrise Beach/the Byron Arts Estate and Byron Bay township. Current services commence at 10:00am from North Beach with hourly return services until the last train leaves the Byron Beach platform, which is behind Simmos Caltex service station at the level crossing on Shirley Street, at 5:15pm. Fares are $3 for adults for a one way service with discounts for children.
“Everybody that we get onboard is positive and happy” said Train Driver Robert Jarvis. “We get a lot of locals and lot of people bringing their kids and grandkids for the experience. I’ve got the best job in the world”.
For those who have always wanted to work on the railway, expressions of interest from people wanting to volunteer with Byron Bay Railroad Company can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
More information can be found at www.byronbaytrain.com.au