THE first step in restoring the Cooma Monaro Railway (CMR) to its former glory occurred on Saturday with the creation of a sub-committee which will be responsible for implementing the safety measures required to allow the railway to resume operations.
Members of the railway society were joined by community stakeholders on Saturday, August 2 who heard CMR President Rodney Clancy describe the current situation facing the historic railway line and the many challenges it faces in order to accommodate passengers.
A recent visit from the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) found the railway was in breech of many safety standards within the Rail National Safety Legislation.
As a result CMR has established a Railway Operations Committee (ROC) to oversee a swift return to operation once 38 safety standards have been rectified.
The meeting provided the public with an opportunity to contribute their labour and time to restoring the line as quickly as possible.
Mr Clancy said it was very pleasing to see so many people in attendance who were willing to help the CMR committee.
"It was wonderful for the community to reiterate their support to the railway. There was a large variety of community organisations interested in us continuing on as a tourist attraction," Mr Clancy said.
"Lots of people still visit the railway, they drive up and see the station, it's important we can open quickly."
More than 40 people attended the meeting with a number of ideas put forward to assist CMR with fundraising initiatives and ways to utilise the railway station.
"We have many facilities that could be used either community or heritage based," Mr Clancy said.
"The station could become home to a Cooma heritage museum as there isn't one yet. Other ideas included an annex of a gallery or a sub-section of the Cooma Visitors Centre."
The task confronting the CMR and the ROC is expected to take around 12 months to complete as the society adheres to commercial rail safety standards.
"CMR is a tourist attraction and we'll update our safety management to ensure we are operational once again."
Throughout the meeting community representatives highlighted their support for the CMR to be restored as one of Cooma's historical centrepieces.