Cyclists compete with train in a race to the finish line

THIRTY-EIGHT minutes will be the time to beat if the cyclists have any chance of beating the steam train to Stanthorpe from Dalveen.  A mad bunch of bike riders are taking on the mother of all trains this Sunday in a race to the finish line.

WDN_24-05-2013_ROP_03_WAR230513cyclisttrain 007_t460Vice president of the Southern Downs Steam Railway Bob Keogh said the reason for the race was simple.

“Rooster and I just sat down one day and thought it would be a good idea – so we did it,” Mr Keogh said.

And so, come Sunday, the train – full of passengers – will meet with the cyclists at the Dalveen platform at about 9.15am.

When the whistle blows, sneakers will slam into pedals and the crew onboard the train will fire up the coals.

“We should get to Stanthorpe (from Dalveen) in about 38 minutes,” Mr Keogh said.

“But we’ve been putting gadgets in the smoke pots to make it go faster,” he joked.

The cyclists are confident they’ll be the first ones across the finish, and Bob Hade said the train had nothing on them.

“I reckon we can do it in half an hour… Or maybe 40 minutes,” Mr Hade said.

“But I think we’ll beat them.”

The train has speed restrictions of 15km/h on unprotected tracks, but Mr Hade said their average speed would be about 33km/h.

The SDSR will donate a prize to the fastest cyclist, the oldest competitor and the youngest.

If you want to get in on the action, head down to the Dalveen platform at about 9.15am to see them off, or wait at the finish line in Stanthorpe.

Or, if you want to get on board the train, it leaves the Warwick station at 8am.

Tickets are $40 if you plan on disembarking at Stanthorpe, or you can continue on to Wallangarra for $65 one way.

Phone the SDRS on 4661 9788 to enquire about tickets as there are only limited left, with 117 already booked.