Members of the Huntly and District Historical Society say they are thrilled with a commitment to help fund their book on the Bendigo to Murray River railway.
The society is putting together a chronicle of the train line’s history, ahead of its 150th anniversary next year.
The state government announced yesterday it would commit $10,000 towards publication costs.
Historical society secretary Esma Turner said she was thrilled with the news.
“It’s fabulous,” she said.
“We’ve got a stack of paperwork and photo albums to go through. There are so many stories to tell. It’s our most ambitious project yet.”
Mrs Turner said the book would focus on the social history of the people connected to the railway.
“It’s about the workers, the contractors, the gangers, station masters, train staff and passengers,” she said.
“We’ve had a huge response from people all along the railway.”
The train line was finished in 1864 and will celebrate its 150th anniversary in September next year.
Federal opposition spokesman for heritage Greg Hunt and Bendigo Liberal candidate Greg Bickley made the grant announcement.
Mr Bickley said the Bendigo to Murray River Railway was an important part of our local history and the Huntly and District Historical Society should be commended on their dedication to preserving it.
“By protecting and preserving our local heritage, we are ensuring that these stories are not forgotten.”
The commitment was made as part of the Coalition’s plans for a $1.4 million Community Heritage Grants program.
Labor candidate for Bendigo Lisa Chesters said she would also work toward helping make grants available for historical societies.
“There’s a number of ways groups can receive support. As a local member I’m committed to help all groups know when grants are available,” she said.
Mrs Turner said the society hoped to have the book published by next June.