On the weekend the Kempsey community marked 100 years since the first train bisected the town while keeping an eye firmly fixed on the future.
Kempsey Railway chairperson Gary Munday said the three-day festival, which began on Saturday, had been a great success.
“We’re absolutely thrilled,” he said.
“On Sunday we had 50 sites for the markets.
“We had the train going every day and there was a new crowd of people on each train.
“The two evening wine and cheese trains were very successful. They were booked out about six weeks ago and the day trips were similar.
“This (Monday) morning we’ve done the official part and it went well.
“Our committee and the railway staff have just been great.
“We’ve had some wonderful sponsors and I thank those people.”
Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey said a lot of community work had gone into recognising our past and she was proud of everybody involved.
“The work the committee has done has been absolutely sensational.
“I think we’ve also got a bright future for for Rail. We’ve got to make our timetables more accessible to encourage intercommunity public transport.”
Kempsey Shire Council mayor Liz Campbell said the centenary is a significant milestone in the Macleay’s history.
“The opening of the rail line linked Kempsey to Sydney, Newcastle, and North to Brisbane,” she said.
“Rail played a significant part in assisting the community to grow and thrive in the decades ahead.
“The sound of the train rumbling through, while waiting at the lights, is still very much part of Kempsey.
“The next 100 years of rail on the Macleay will be very interesting, roll on.”