The Nambucca Valley welcomed the historic Rainforest Rattler over the weekend as a curtain-raiser to the Macksville Railway Centenary celebrations currently scheduled for later this month.
Hundreds rushed to board the CPH class railmotor and enjoy an open-air heritage train journey that brought back fond memories of a bygone era when railways were the primary mode of transport.
Lachlan Valley Railway coordinator Neil Manson was delighted by the level of interest and said it proved that there is a market for the train in the Nambucca Valley.
"The weekend's journeys were a one-off due to your centenary," he said.
"But given the level of interest, I will try and work in with your railway centenary committee to deliver a trip during our regular journeys to Coffs Harbour in January.
"Many people said to me they came to ride the train as it is almost 100 years old and they had been on similar trains during their childhood, while others simply said they enjoyed being able to do something different over the weekend."
A total of 492 Rainforest Rattler tickets were sold over the weekend, 254 for the Macksville to Raleigh trips; 168 for the Macksville to Eungai trips and 70 for the Macksville to Urunga dinner special train.
"The Urunga dinner special train was a whole heap of fun. People were singing songs in the carriages on the way home - a good time was had by all I can certainly say," Mr Manson said.
Rail centenary committee member and Mary Boulton Pioneer Cottage & Museum President Leanne Welsh was the key instigator in getting the Rainforest Rattler to the Nambucca Valley over the weekend. Mrs Welsh was on hand for most trips, greeting passengers and giving away shortbread biscuits.
It's going to be a big month for rail in the valley when the celebrations for the centenary of the Kempsey to Macksville sixth section of the North Coast railway line continue in a few weeks.