CURRABUBULA’S newest commercial bright spark wants to fire up a campaign to bring trains to a stop once again in the village.
The new licensee of the local pub and cafe Cath Branson is pushing to see a new train platform built at the disused Currabubula Station and for the Xplorer train to stop there on its daily run to and from Armidale.
Mrs Branson says she’s spoken with Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson about it and has put a petition on the bar of her premises calling for a new platform.
Mr Anderson said he would “absolutely” canvass Mrs Branson’s cause with the government if she made a formal application to him to do so.
But he cautioned it would add to the timetable and that “wider discussion” of the push was needed.
The last train stopped there in October 1985 and the platform was demolished, a Transport for NSW spokeswoman said.
“Based on the projected low-patronage levels and the population of Currabubula is less than 400, there are no current plans to build a platform and resume train services,” she said.
She also echoed Mr Anderson’s thoughts about the timetable.
“Another consideration is that if trains did stop there it would increase the
journey time for the popular and daily service, the Armidale Xplorer.”
But Mrs Branson said her place had the potential to emulate the massive success that the Willow Tree Inn and its Graze Restaurant had last month if the train was to stop at Currabubula – as the old station was only 400m across the road.
Willow Tree Inn was awarded Best Country Pub in NSW on November 18 and Graze Restaurant took out Best Steak Venue in the 2013 Australian Hotels Association NSW Awards for Excellence on November 25.
Mrs Branson’s chef, Alexander Connell, worked at Graze Restaurant and has watched people use Willow Tree station.
“He has seen how lovely it is for people to have a drink and hop on the train again,” Mrs Branson said.
Her venue had its grand opening on Sunday afternoon, after opening for business on October 4.
Mrs Branson and her husband Rob had spent the previous six months renovating the hotel, having bought it earlier this year.