Nambour’s newest attraction has moved a step closer to completion, with the $840,000 works on the highly anticipated Nambour Heritage Tramway Depot (terminus) building complete and works underway on the tramway tracks.
The terminus, located near the Nambour Mill Village Shopping Centre in Mill St, also includes an information centre.
Sunshine Coast Council Division 10 Councillor David Law said the construction of the terminus was the vital first step in bringing the Nambour Heritage Tramway project to life.
“This region-shaping initiative is an absolute credit to The Nambour Tramway Company (TNT Co) and their dedicated supporters,” Cr Law said.
“It’s the result of many years of community effort and I look forward to continuing to support their endeavours.
“Touring the facility, I was thoroughly impressed with the contemporary design and I know our community will be thrilled to have the opportunity to check it out for themselves.
“Innovations like this are critical to supporting our local economy and proof of what can be achieved when a passionate group of locals commits to contributing to Nambour’s future viability, supported by council and the Australian Government.”
Cr Law thanked former Sunshine Coast Council Division 10 Councillor Greg Rogerson for his vision, determination and persistence to help bring the project to fruition and congratulated him on his appointment as TNT Co Chair.
Although closed until further notice due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, in the future the terminus’s information centre will provide visitors with a rich historical experience.
Mr Rogerson said reactivating the heritage-listed tramline through the centre of Nambour would provide the town with an exciting point of difference.
“When global travel is back on the agenda, there will be tram and railway buffs coming from around the world to experience what we will offer here,” Mr Rogerson said.
“No doubt this unique project also will draw plenty of local attention and we look forward to ensuring a great experience for all our future visitors.
“Whilst the construction of the tram and establishment of the tramway track is still months away from completion, we’ve already got a real treat for those who visit the information centre once it’s able to open.
“It’s now home to the Petrie Locomotive which was gifted to The Nambour Tramway Co by Bundaberg Sugar in 2014 and has been housed and displayed since then at the Nambour Museum.
“Petrie was purchased by the Moreton Central Sugar Mill in 1968 to complete its change-over from steam to diesel locos and remains in full working order.
“The Tramway Company is proud to hold this piece of Nambour’s heritage for all to enjoy.”
The construction of the Nambour Heritage Tramway Depot (terminus) has been jointly funded by Sunshine Coast Council and a $500,000 Australian Government grant awarded through the National Stronger Regions Fund.
Federal Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien MP said it was wonderful to see how far this exciting project had already progressed.
“Projects funded under the National Stronger Regions Fund are designed to deliver an economic benefit to the region beyond the period of construction and there is no doubt this project will drive tourism in the area,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The Federal contribution has been secured from the hotly contested Building Better Regions Fund which aims to create jobs, drive economic growth, and build stronger regional communities into the future and I’m delighted we have been able to support a project which is both visionary and historic.”
Council’s total contribution to the project is $2.26 million (including terminus building funding) and TNT Co have committed $1.4 million (including a $1 million pledge from philanthropists Roy and Nola Thompson, with the remaining funds provided by private donors and proceeds from the Nambour Tramfest).
The tram, which will run between the Tram Terminus in Mill St, adjacent to the old sugar mill site (now the Nambour Mill Village Shopping Centre) to the southern end of Quota Park, (between Repco and Aldi), along Mill and Howard Streets and is expected to be operational by 2021.
TNT Co’s aspirations include currently-unfunded future stages that could eventually connect the tram to the Nambour Showgrounds.
The project is governed by a Heads of Agreement between Sunshine Coast Council and TNT Co.
- 28 Mill Street was home to a bakery, a private residence and a community built occasional day care facility before council offered the site to TNT Co.
- It now houses the tram depot and terminus as the main building passengers will use to board the tram.
- Once open to the public, the Nambour Tram Terminus will also include a visitor and community information centre, commercial kitchen, indoor and outdoor events space, static and interactive display and offer commercial opportunities for local businesses.
- The proposed tram will be of heritage style, run on a 610mm gauge, solar powered electric battery model.
- There will be no electric overhead cables and once operational the tram will be running on a heritage rail line.
The Nambour Tramway Company is calling for volunteers interested in being part of this exciting chapter – email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (07) 5441 8674.