News Release

Volunteers Boost Yarra Valley Railway Works


Volunteers from the Yarra Valley Railway, local Men’s Shed and over 220 volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took up the invitation to assist the Yarra Valley heritage railway project on Saturday, 23rd March 2019. The wet weather didn't dampen their desire to serve as together they accomplished over 1,000 hours of work.

Steve Byrne, a member of the Yarra Valley Railway and the Church, was a key organiser of the day and is one volunteer who loves to serve. "I really enjoy it! I get a thrill every time I get involved. I’m pleased to see so many people take up the invitation to come out and feel good about helping others."

Derren Leung was one of the young adult Church members who attended on the day. He said, "I love the railway project. In the busyness of life, it is good to find time to serve others."

The service day saw many vital tasks completed at the Yarra Glen station including building restoration works, sorting reclaimed materials and lineside cleaning. The railway project is entering an exciting stage as plans and preparations are being made for 9kms of new track to be laid along the tourist journey between Yarra Glen and Healesville.

The railway line between Lilyday and Healesville opened on 1 March 1889 but was later closed to all traffic in 1983. After 30 years part of the line reopened and began taking passengers again as a tourist journey from Healesville station to Tarrawarra Estate in 2010 thanks to the efforts of the Yarra Valley Railway.

The YVR is a not-for-profit community based organisation and is one of the largest volunteer projects in Australia. The continuing efforts of volunteers from the community and the Church participating on the service day gives the project a tremendous boost - seeing months of work done in one day.

Brett Whelan, Yarra Valley Railway President said, "We think it's just fantastic how the Church gives back and is such an important and integral part of the community. For a project as large as we are looking at, the amount of work is just mind blowing. We can do things that may seem too big a job for a handful of volunteers but together we can just smash them out. That is fantastic."

Brett closed the day by thanking all in attendance and recognising the gift of service that had been given.

Yarra Glen's local Member of Parliament Cindy McLeish also attended on the day showing her support for all the volunteers who are giving their time and efforts in bringing the railway back to the Yarra Valley.

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