The Longford Rail Bridge once held the title of the longest spans in Australia and its history is still being celebrated 150 years later, but efforts to reinstate it to its former glory are under way.
The Longford Rail Bridge committee is hoping to reinstate large, white pillars that once accompanied either end of the bridge through a fundraiser to raise the $80,000 needed.
The pillars were removed from the bridge sometime in the 1960s.
So far $1350 has been raised through GoFundMe and entry to a railway exhibition at the Longford Memorial Hall during 150-year celebrations last week.
Infrastructure and Transport Minister Michael Ferguson said the government would consider contributing if it received a funding request.
"The government has not received any direct request for funding assistance in relation to the reinstatement of the pillars on the Longford railway bridge, but would consider making a contribution if a request was received," he said.
"I enjoyed the conversation with the committee chair Dick Adams about the heritage idea and would love to see it become a reality as we celebrate 150 years of the rail industry in Tasmania."
The four proposed pillars will be built using modern, lightweight composite materials in hopes of returning it to its 19th-century historic view and to attract tourists.
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The bid to raise the funds was launched in late 2020 but with the 150-year celebrations underway earlier this month, the committee is hoping to raise more funds to show the support for the venture.
Longford Rail Bridge committee chairperson Dick Adams said the bid to reinstate the pillars was put on hold last year due to COVID-19, but they were beginning to get back underway.
"I appreciate the Minister saying that we will certainly approach the government after a bit more money is raised to show the community's support behind it," he said.
"There is a lot of community support for it and we want to ensure a path connecting Longford and Perth is also part of the vision."
Mr Adams said the turn out for the sesquicentennial also highlighted the interest in the bridge and rail.
Visit gofundme.com/longford-rail-bridge-restoration to donate to the cause.
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