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New miniature railway in Symonston

By Mick Richardson 17 June 2018 60
81 Class loco returns to the station. Driver: CSMEE president Peter Hateley. Photo: Mick Richardson

81 Class loco returns to the station. Driver: CSMEE president Peter Hateley. Photo: Mick Richardson.

New family entertainment comes to Canberra! Children’s birthday parties are a specialty of the new miniature railway in Symonston.

The Canberra Society of Model and Experimental Engineers (CSMEE), the new (big) kids on the block, have built a brand new miniature track which will eventually feature four different track widths for railway aficionados to ride on. The miniature trains, which are open for rides twice a month (2nd and last Sundays), take guests for about a kilometre ride from the Station, over the Causeway viaduct, up to the top of the hill for a new view of the Molonglo Valley and then return home past a display of Aussie murals. The new railway off Jerrabomberra Avenue has also teamed up with the Canberra & District Historic Engine Club to provide combined stationary and moving engines on the last Sunday of each month.

The tracks are all newly laid after the Canberra Miniature Railway moved from their former site at Kingston. More space has led to the development of the four different gauges and visitors may even get a chance to ride around behind “Bunyip”, the steam loco or around the grounds behind George the (mini) Traction Engine!

Many thousands of hours have been put in by the Society members to construct the site which now displays an original railway signal from Canberra Railway Station clearly visible to travellers on the Monaro Highway.

And kids of all ages love it!

CSMEE president Peter Hateley said the new Symonston track, built by hard-working volunteers, was the perfect way to “bring to life” a child’s fascination with trains; but he admitted some were reluctant to climb aboard at first.

“We have three and four-year-olds who get on the train and they’re like, ‘Oh, I don’t like this’ and they start screaming, but then about halfway around the loop they settle down and you can’t get them off,” he laughed.

Rides are only $3.00 (all day riding $15.00) with canteen facilities and free parking. Those riding the trains must wear enclosed footwear for safety reasons.

“We describe it as the perfect day out for people aged two to 102,” said Peter.

Booking a party is easy; just call 1300 731 954 or email csmee@grapevine.com.au. Parties are supplied with seating and a BBQ.

The new Canberra Miniature Railway is located at the end of Jerrabomberra Avenue in Symonston. Open on the second and last Sundays of the month from 10.30 am until 2.30 pm (not open last Sunday in December). Rides $3. For further information head to www.canberramodelengineers.org.au or their Facebook page: Canberra Miniature Railway

81 Class loco returns to the station. Driver: CSMEE President Peter Hateley. Photo: Mick Richardson

81 Class loco returns to the station. Driver: CSMEE President Peter Hateley. Photo: Mick Richardson.

The original railway signal from Canberra Railway Station, now visible from the Monaro Highway. Photo: Mick Richardson

The original railway signal from Canberra Railway Station, now visible from the Monaro Highway. Photo: Mick Richardson.

8101 engine returns to the station. Photo: Mick Richardson

81 class loco returns to the station. Photo: Mick Richardson.

"The Bunyip" Steam Loco. Photo: Mick Richardson

“The Bunyip” Steam Loco. Photo: Mick Richardson.

"George, the Traction Engine". Photo: Mick Richardson

“George, the Traction Engine”. Photo: Mick Richardson.

Seven Years Ago! Photo: Mick Richardson

Seven Years Ago! Photo: Mick Richardson.


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50 Responses to
New miniature railway in Symonston
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Katrina Williams 12:22 pm 21 Jun 18

Laura Ryan Gemma Urbaniak I think my phone was listening to our conversation earlier! This came up in my news feed!

Kate Maree 9:03 am 21 Jun 18

Philippa Doig for your brothers and their little ones!

Rhoda Poulton 12:22 pm 19 Jun 18

Just gorgeous the children will luv it 😀

Amanda Tifan 3:17 am 19 Jun 18

Trudy Solway this is what I was talking about

Victoria Giddens 10:39 pm 18 Jun 18

Fiona McKernan Marshall James Eleanor Saker come back to CBR soon. More fun to be had

Alexander Garrett 8:41 pm 18 Jun 18

Tuggeranong finally gets light rail!

Lynne Smith 11:26 am 18 Jun 18

So that's what they were building.

Lisa Usher 8:35 pm 17 Jun 18

Kristen something else for the kids to do at some stage.

Pamela Gaete 8:16 pm 17 Jun 18

Mary Aranguiz crees que Andrés y Kristian les gustaría ir ???

Sally Tregellas Wodzinska 7:09 pm 17 Jun 18

Tom Wodzinski I'm looking forward to this

Megan Mills 4:48 pm 17 Jun 18

Rebecca Mills there's a reason I had never seen that sign for the miniature train before when I told you last fortnight... It's new! 😂

Jen Marston 4:46 pm 17 Jun 18

Jess Kitson next weekend?

Lauren Scott 3:03 pm 17 Jun 18

Chantelle Ryan should take Hamish

Dali Alpaca 2:53 pm 17 Jun 18

Sam Davies when are you in town.

Naomi Malbon 2:25 pm 17 Jun 18

Cris Stuart ... excursion time with Zachy?

Glen Brimson 2:19 pm 17 Jun 18

Steph Brimson we should take the kids when it’s not -5°

Hannah Doe 1:52 pm 17 Jun 18

Ancel Earle Franklin we left at the wrong time :(

Darryl Day 1:45 pm 17 Jun 18

Karen Kahli Day one for the G/kiddies

Joel Nelthorpe 1:20 pm 17 Jun 18

Isabelle Louie would love this

Amelia Dillon 12:51 pm 17 Jun 18

Karun Sam Can we take the kids on this? Mainly because I really want to go 😂

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