Walka Mini Railway will ring with the puff and whistle of its mini steam train this weekend when the newly-restored locomotive makes its first passenger journey.
It took two years of searching for the railway club to find the 20-year-old loco that had hauled children on a mini track in Victoria.
Secretary Frank Gogarty said despite its state of disrepair the club was keen to get the train to Walka Water Works in Maitland.
“It was well and truly past its use by date, but they’re as rare as hen’s teeth to find these days,” Mr Gogarty said. “We needed a steam engine to complement the railway and from our point of view – it’s now the greatest asset we’ve got.”
It took club president Damian Dorahy about four months to rebuild the steam engine that was almost completely rusted.
It will make its first journey around the mini track on Sunday carrying 24 miniature passengers.
“Kids love steam engines, it’s a big drawcard for us,” Mr Gogarty said. “We’d like to start promoting Walka [mini railway] through this steam train.”
Mr Gogarty said the engine is the fourth addition to the club’s fleet that previously only included diesel trains.