Anyone (old or young) who has a fascination with trains or is looking for an experience out of the ordinary will love the Melsa Train Park located at MELSA Park on Toorbul Street in Bongaree. The initials M.E.L.S.A. stand for ‘Model Engineers and Live Steamers Association” and the members of the local club are keen enthusiasts who operate the mini-train rides for the enjoyment of both locals and visitors alike.
Featured Image(above): A meticulously built mini-train
These miniature steam and diesel/electric trains take passengers on a delightful journey around the Melsa Park track. The 5” to 7¼” gauge track is about one kilometre long now and goes almost down as far as the Vietnam Veterans Park. The club operates on the third Sunday of every month between 10:00 am and 2:30 pm. The train ride takes you through the picturesque bush surrounds of Melsa Park and it’s sure to delight the senses of train enthusiasts young and old.
The MELSA steering committee
The Melsa Train Park is a great, inexpensive day out for the whole family. The Bribie Islander spoke with the past president of the club Russell Saunders whose family has had a big interest in the club. “The idea for a MELSA club on Bribie resulted from Bob Loseby, Dick Steel, Eric Richards, Hugh Bull, Roy Milner and Merv Hall forming a steering committee in 1981 to coordinate the project.
Their successful lobbying resulted in the fledgling club receiving a $100,000 grant with the conditions that the project had to be completed in one year and work had to be carried out by people who were at that stage unemployed,” said Russell. The MELSA Bribie Island Club currently has approximately twenty-five members and new members are always welcome. Not all members own a train and there is a club train that members can use.
Anyone who would like to find out more about becoming a member of the club is welcome to call Colin Farrell on 0439 822059 or come along on running days.