Arson Attack at Cooma Railway

Normally we like to share positive stories about the exciting progress being made by our volunteers but unfortunately today, our update is not a positive one.

Shortly after midday today, volunteers working at Cooma Railway Station noticed smoke coming from the cutting on the northern approach to Cooma yard. Upon closer investigation, an individual was observed in the cutting, attempting to systematically set fire to multiple railway sleepers.

The resulting fire then spread to the grass across the former stock sidings and down the track to the northern gates of the railway precinct before it could be extinguished by the NSW Fire Service.

This was a direct and targeted attack which we can only assume was intended to destroy railway infrastructure in an attempt by the person or persons involved to hinder our ability to return operational services to the line.

Unfortunately for the person involved, we were able to obtain photos of them leaving the scene which have been provided to NSW Police to assist with their investigation.

It’s extremely sad that people feel the need to take actions like this but fortunately in this instance, the damage caused by the fire was minimal. We certainly hope that this is an isolated event.

If anyone has additional information about this event or those involved, please contact Cooma Police.

Award Winning Roses

🌹 AWARD WINNING ROSES🌹You may have seen the beautiful rose gardens that we’ve been cultivating over the last couple of years across the Cooma Railway precinct. We think they are amazing and this weekend, the judges agreed!

CMR entered some of our roses in the 2022 Cooma Show and we’ve won two second place awards for:

🔹️ 3 Full Bloom Roses
🔹️ 1 Red Bloom

We’re super proud of gardens and can’t wait to bring more entries next year.

Community | Working Together

The events of the last two years have taken a huge toll on our local community, particularly our regional towns and the community organisations that support them. For many organisations, it’s been impossible to operate with any kind of normality in recent times which has set them back many years.

Cooma Monaro Railway is no different. Even after many months of work from all of our volunteers, we’re only now getting back to the position we were in two years ago. Unfortunately, not all organisations have the resources or support to fully recover which leaves many of them in a position where they are unable to continue.

As a small community organisation, the Friends of Bombala Railway have been maintaining the Bombala Railway precinct for over a decade, encouraging visitors from near and far to visit the town and enjoy this beautiful piece of history. The group had also been progressing their plans to develop a Railway Pedal Car attraction on the line north of Bombala Station which would help attract much needed tourism to the town.

With a lack of external support over this period, coupled with the impact of extended restrictions, the group were unable to keep up with the maintenance across the precinct which resulted in the vegetation taking control once more and prevented visitors from accessing a large portion of the site.

When our track inspection team visited the Bombala Railway precinct earlier this year, it reminded us that more than ever before, we need to work together to ensure that all of our community groups not only recover from recent events but have a strong, healthy future.

To ensure that the Friends of Bombala Railway have every opportunity to pursue their future plans, a group of CMR volunteers, along with their families, travelled to Bombala for the weekend, not only to help the local volunteers but to enjoy a weekend away in such a beautiful town.

While the weather did it’s best to halt our progress, we were able to clear a substantial amount of the yard including the station area, turntable, loco shed foundations and the main line from the Monaro Highway into the precinct. As the vegetation cleared, our team were also able to wash and clean the heritage rolling stock in the yard, ready for visitors to enjoy once more.

To assist the local volunteers in keeping the vegetation under control, CMR also donated 20 litres of Glyphosate 540 and 5 litres of Spray Marker Dye to the group to help keep the vegetation under control so that visitors can continue to enjoy the site.

Our volunteers will be back in the near future to continue restoring the yard and help the Friends of Bombala Railway to take another step toward their vision. As a community organisation that has been operating in the Monaro for over 30 years, it’s important to CMR and it’s members that we continue to work together across the community to develop and strengthen our local economy and continue to create opportunities for future generations.

If you share a passion for local history and would like to see it preserved into the future, the Friends of Bombala Railway are looking for volunteers to assist the group. They are a wonderful group of people and would welcome any assistance. If you think you could help, please contact simmo572@hotmail.com or 0407 259 622.