Tourist train operation back on track - if Coalition wins on Saturday

THE Federal Coalition has committed to a $1.5 million restoration of 5.6 kilometres of the Oberon Tarana branch line if it is returned to government on Saturday.

Sitting member and National Party candidate for Calare and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack made the commitment during an announcement in Oberon on Thursday.

The first stage of line's restoration would involve installation of 5.6km of new rail line, the purchase and placement of new sleepers, drainage, earthworks and all labour costs.

Making the announcement, conditional on a Coalition government returning to power after Saturday's federal election, Mr Gee said the funding would go to the Oberon to Tarana Heritage Rail Group.

"It's already a tourism mecca up there, this will just be another feather in the cap of Oberon," Mr Gee said.

The line, if re-opened, would be used to run heritage trains under the auspices of the heritage rail group.

"This group has been operating out of Oberon for a number of years," Mr Gee said.

"They have a wonderful facility there and have even got a great diesel locomotive, but the problem is they haven't got any track to run the trains on.

"The heritage rail group is doing a huge amount of work up there and get a lot of tourists up there every single year, many who come to see heritage railway.

"We need to get some tracks to run the trains on, this funding will be used to complete stage one of that project.

"They've been trying to get funding for this for many years and now through this election commitment the government if returned, they'll be able to complete stage one.

"It's a wonderful investment in tourism for the Oberon area but is also an investment in our heritage and in our past.

"What they doing is restoring old carriages which were very much a part of the lifeblood of this region and NSW in years gone by.

"Countless hours of work have gone into the heritage railway to bring the station up to speed and with this investment of $1.5 million it will take it to a whole new era.

"Along with the running of the train, there are also plans to upgrade an open the Oberon Station as a vibrant heritage and railway display," he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the completed project would attract thousands of extra visitors to Oberon each year converting to more people dining in the town's restaurants, staying in local motels and visiting other attractions in the region.