The country trains runs have been greatly reduced over the years obviously due to cost pressures. I understand this but the trains also mean a great deal to local towns in making them more accessible to the public and providing regular transport to the locals, rather than relying on access to cars.
Train lines track throughout the country and whilst you drive across many level crossings, you may be surprised to find how few of them ever have trains run along them. One of the visible sadder aspects I find are the lovely old railway stations which were once such a centre of industry, social connection and activity now being deserted and forlorn. Whilst many decry the mining industry, for some areas it has meant that the railway lines have at least been maintained for mineral transportation, if not for people. This has kept the train line open to Kandos, even though public trains finish their run at Lithgow.
Very infrequently a heritage train comes through with Kandos being the final stop and resting place for lunch before returning to Sydney. This is quite an event and is usually sold out. The whole town turns out complete with Markets to greet the tourists.
In the meantime, I bring you some photos of the gracious old railway stations in the area. They obviously were once buildings of stature in the community and have a very Australian heritage feel about them.
The Kandos Railway Station has been lovingly restored into a popular cafe, however the other buildings are not so fortunate, and whilst sometimes appearing as attractive heritage landmarks from the distance, stand often abandoned and closer scrutiny tells a different picture. They are often at locations that are less likely to sustain a commercial venture, which seems such a misfortune.
This was one of my first introductions to Kandos and is a great example of the friendly townsfolk here. Sue and Dave, the proprietors, take great care with their unique business and also make a significant effort in supporting the local community. Now coming here is more like dropping in to old friends rather than somewhere to go for lunch.
The name of the cafe relates to it being the old railway station. The train line unfortunately no longer runs through Kandos regularly, although infrequently there is a tourist service which is a sight to behold. It would be so wonderful if the train still continued through from Lithgow to Kandos.
As the old Kandos railway station, it is in a great location and perfect for a quiet respite and refuel. The building sits alongside the tracks and the interior reflects its railway heritage, with seating from old old train seats and carriage fittings throughout.
In Winter there is an open fire and in warmer weather occasionally movies are shown on a projector across the railway line. Outside you can view some interesting local sculptures.
A great place to drop in for a good meal, a coffee and some information on the local area, as it also serves as the local Tourist Information Centre. The cafe is located at the entrance to town at the start of the main street just off the Railway Green where the major local events are often held.