Historical train to remain imprisoned: Society

Thursday February 19 2015, 2:45pm

An old locomotive used as a historical display on Warner Street in Port Douglas will likely remain enclosed within a protective cage forever, the Port Douglas Historical society warns. 

The Faugh-a-Ballagh (“Clear The Way”) tram was originally built in 1898 by the Shire Council of the time and linked Port Douglas to Mossman. 

The train continued in its service until it was decommissioned in 1958, and in 1997 the Douglas Historical Society began a project to restore it.

Due to constant vandalism at its then-location in Anzac Park, Douglas Shire Council built a cage around the train display, which was later moved to its current spot on Warner Street. 

Noel Weare from the Douglas Historical Society said the Society’s ongoing restoration project for the train was on hold due to lack of funds. 

“The Society is just 40 people and we don’t have a bottomless pit of funds,” Mr Weare said. 

“Right now we are working on our World War 1 Diggers of Douglas project. We’ve done the restoration of the train’s carriage in the past and we’d love to fully restore the loco, but right now we just don’t have the money. 

“If the community would like to chip in or if there’s someone out there that would like to donate, they can contact us through our website or email us at info@douglashistory.org.au.”

Mr Weare said that even if the Society did finish the restoration of the loco, they would still keep the cage in place to prevent future vandalism.

“We own the train and we are responsible for it, it would be a huge ongoing cost to keep repairing the damage of vandalism it was getting,” he said. 

“We don’t have any intention of taking the cage down.

"It would be great, however, if it could be enclosed in a glass case."