Pete’s Hobby Railway at Junee received a surprise visitor last Friday afternoon in the guise of former Deputy Prime Minister, and avowed railway enthusiast, The Hon. Tim Fischer AC. As the Junee Rhythm n Rail Festival’s long term patron, Mr. Fischer was in town to officially launch the Festival’s 10th anniversary at a special event held at the Junee Roundhouse Museum.
Mr Peter Neve OAM, owner of Pete’s Hobby Railway, was one of the local representatives at the launch event. Mr Fischer and Mr Neve have met each other at various train related expos and events over the years, so considering the Roundhouse Museum is literally around the corner from Pete’s Hobby Railway, Mr Fischer was invited to visit Pete’s Hobby Railway after the Festival’s launch.
As he and Mr Nicholas Pyers, President of Junee Rhythm and Rail Festival Inc, arrived they were greeted by the welcoming sight of a 1915-vintage steam locomotive and train waiting at the station.
Peter invited him to join the driver, Matt Allan, in the cab of the locomotive for a trip down the line. Despite being in good clothes, being a long-time railway enthusiast and supporter, Mr Fischer had no hesitation in climbing aboard. Even before the journey commenced, Mr Fischer was observed to be in deep discussion with Matt the driver about the workings of the locomotive’s injectors.
The visit was over all-too-soon, and after autographing a couple of his books for one of the volunteers, Mr Pyers had the former Deputy Prime Minister back into his car for more Rhythm n Rail duties.