THE township of Korumburra came to a standstill last Friday, right in the middle of peak hour at lunch time, but thankfully, for a mercifully short period of time.
Such was the efficiency of contractors engaged to move one of the ‘red rattler’ passenger rail cars from the former South Gippsland Tourist Rail workshop in town and out on to Commercial Street, that cars were only stopped for a matter of minutes.
It was enough time for retailers and shoppers to come out on to the street to witness the move.
After an initial attempt at backing the large semi-trailer out of Kelly’s Bakery carpark and on to the South Gippsland Highway in the middle of town, they set up for a second pass and this time, bingo!
The long-load truck with its extra rear wheels negotiated the centre medium with relative ease, although with some concern as the railway carriage leaned over precariously, but then it was over and out.
There was a moment during the move when it looked as if the trains had returned to Korumburra, as the carriage clattered its way down Korumburra’s famous hill and out of town.
A bloke standing out the front of the Middle Hotel with a pot of beer in hand had a second take.
“Did I just see what I thought I saw,” he said, taking another gulp of his beer.
“They did that pretty well,” he concluded.
Great Southern Rail Trail extension enthusiast, John Kennedy, was happy to look on the bright side.
“I guess it’s a shame the train carriages have to leave but if it clears the way to the extension of the rail trail through to Korumburra and beyond it will be a good thing.
“I still maintain the investment will give the shire the biggest bang for its buck, boosting income, jobs and activity in all the towns along the line from Nyora and Loch through to Korumburra, Leongatha, Meeniyan, Fish Creek and right on down the line to Welshpool.
“It’s a no brainer and the soon they rip it up and get on with it the better.”