The Bullet steams into town

Sunday saw the traditional visit of the Barrington Bullet to Dungog during the Hunter Valley Steamfest weekend, which also saw a new event included in the program, this being a return trip to Stroud Road.
Nanjing Night Net

The trip from Maitland to Dungog was fully booked out and the Stroud Road excursion was approximately 70 per cent full. The trip to Stroud Road left Dungog at around 11.30am and returned at about 1pm.

Steamfest organisers saw this as a very successful day.

The Barrington Bullet excursion to Dungog is traditionally one of the weekends’ favourite events, and is usually booked out two weeks prior to Steamfest.

The Stroud Road excursion will no doubt grow in popularity as more people become aware of it is seen as an option for people who have missed out on the Maitland-Dungog leg.

Dungog Council’s economic development and tourism coordinator Ivan Skaines said “the event was a partnership between the Dungog Shire Visitor Information Centre, Dungog Council, Steamfest and Maitland Council.

“Local traders also were involved in the event with most of the antique and giftware shops in town opening for at least part of the day,” Mr Skaines said.

“Local eateries were also open, and the museum and the art studio were also open.

“Artists from Dungog Arts Society also organised a temporary exhibition including works involving steam trains at the Arts Upper Hunter office in Dowling Street.

“This activity is most appreciated and is a critical part of the visit of the Barrington Bullet giving visitors the immediate feeling that Dungog is a vibrant and welcoming town.

“We hope that it will also encourage people to come back and visit Dungog at other times of the year.

“As well as people on the train, there were many carloads of people at Dungog and also at other vantage points along the track taking photographs and generally enjoying the atmosphere of the day.

“It was just unfortunate that it rained and made sightseeing a little more difficult for visitors”.

Wendy Farrow from the Visitor Information Centre and Mr Skaines will talk with Steamfest organisers to obtain data on the number of Dungog Shire residents and people from elsewhere who took the excursion to Stroud Road, the number of people who came on the train from Maitland and also took the trip to Stroud Road.

“This will help us plan better for next year,” Mr Skaines said.

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