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Tourist train will boost retailers

31 May 2011

Harbour Town retailers will receive a significant boost if a proposal to introduce people-moving tourist trains is successful.

The proposal is the brainchild of Wonderland Fun Park proprietors Melissa Head and Colin Lane and could ferry hundreds of people a day from Victoria Harbour to Waterfront City.

Mr Lane told the last meeting of the Docklands Chamber of Commerce that the trackless tourist trains would be the first of their kind in Melbourne, with similar operations running permanently in Sydney’s Darling Harbour, Homebush Bi-Centennial Park and Perth Wharves.

Two trains of three carriages of 10 passengers each would run in opposite directions and operate at a speed described as “a brisk walking pace”.

The proposed route for the trains would be from the main stage area at Waterfront City Piazza, travelling along NewQuay Promenade before turning right onto Harbour Esplanade. They would then run adjacent to the Esplanade before terminating at the NAB building on Bourke St.

The total travelling time of the trains is expected to be eight minutes in each direction.

Such a route joins the main attractions of Docklands – Waterfront City, Harbour Town Shopping Centre and the Southern Star Observation Wheel.

Two funding options have been proposed for the trains. Under the first, the trains would be publicly funded and would be free to the public. The second option is for passengers to contribute a gold coin donation per trip.

The Docklands Chamber of Commerce voted on May 17 to support the proposal.  Members have been urged to write letters of support to the City of Melbourne.

The meeting heard that City of Melbourne bylaws officers “derailed” a similar proposal when it was last put forward in 2007.

The trains will connect retailers and office workers in the Docklands precinct, giving the retailers a wider reach and increasing mobility for the workers.

Among the additional improvements proposed were interactive train stops and costumed train drivers who would help provide information about Docklands to tourists.

The trains are touted to be a fun attraction for people of all ages, in particular families with young children and elderly citizens.

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Comments

  • colin davis at 5:12pm on 04/06/11

    Hi Shane

    Thank you very much for the artical, but unfortunally you got my name wrong. It is Colin Davis not Colin Lane as your artical states.

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