Blayney will play host to actor, TV host and rail enthusiast Scott McGregor when he arrives in town on January 26 to take on the role of our Australia Day ambassador.
Well known for his many years on ‘Better Homes and Gardens’, and as host of the popular ‘Room for Improvement’, Mr McGregor has now shuffled into a life of indulging his greatest loves of all, Australian history and rail travel.
Recently he has hosted a series of TV programs on the History Channel including The Stamp Of Australia and Australian Icon Towns.
He has also presented two series of his own Railway Adventure programs screened here and overseas and was a regular face on the Lifestyle Channel as the Antiques and Collectables expert and travel guy.
Recent developments in rail travel across the shire, including the expansion of Millthorpe’s rail platform, the lobbying to have the Blayney to Demondrille line re-opened and the stalling of work at Newbridge, will all doubtless be of interest to the rail evangelist.
“I’m definitely going to have to touch on the subject as Blayney has played such a major role in the history of the Great Western Railway,” he said.
“When I was a kid and travelling to Sydney I remember pulling into Blayney and it was alive with all these large freight locomotives, it really was such an important interchange.”
A frequent traveller around the globe, Mr McGregor said that many countries are realising the full potential of rail infrastructure.
Now Mr McGregor runs rail touring groups around destinations as far and wide as Russia, Vietnam and India.
“They’re building regional lines to country towns, heritage trains, building luxury trains, expanding freight networks and when you get back here to Australia, it’s just embarrassing,” he said.
“The frustrating thing is that the infrastructure is already here, we don’t have to build it, it’s just sitting there.”
For Mr McGregor the solution is to make rail travel far more appealing than sitting for long hours in a car.
“We don’t need to build super fast trains, just make trains faster and safer than travelling by car.”