Local Dave Caruzzo volunteers at Woodford Railway twice a month! Image Gay Liddington
Meet Dave Caruzzo – train fanatic, store person extraordinaire, community volunteer and a really, really nice bloke!
You may know Dave from his work at Rainbow Cooloola Wholesalers climbing ladders and searching through an amazing myriad of products to get what you ordered to you as quickly as possible …..
But every first and third Friday afternoon of the month Dave hops in his little red ute and drives 2.5 hrs to Woodford (25km west of Caboolture) to indulge in his greatest passion…. trains!
Dave volunteers at the historic railway site, doing all sorts of tasks to help keep the trains running and viable. “There are about 65 financial members with 15-20 of those being active members,” explained Dave.
“A couple of the younger ones are interested in engineering, so having them involved is an advantage for themselves and the railway.
“At present we have two operating trains, one a 1950s diesel engine from the cane fields up north, and the other a Perry Steam Loco from Dream World…..it’s being restored at the moment so hopefully it will be up and running early next year,” Dave continued.
“On Saturdays we do maintenance on the track, put a bit of spit and polish on the trains and generally clean-up the station and platform ready for Sunday.
“We have a shop that sells magazines and books to help with costs and we also charge a minimal fee for the train rides, it all helps keep the trains running,” Dave said.
“The track is about 1km long and takes around 15 minutes there and back.”
Dave is usually Station Master and has to ensure the QLD transport regulations are met.
“We get a lot of day trippers in the form of bus tours, other railway clubs and the general public…it can get very busy. We have to look after our visitors,” explained Dave.
This extraordinary love and devotion of all things to do with trains began when Dave was just a wee lad and his grandfather bought him a train set.
He started off in the lounge room, expanded to the garage, then, “My parents kindly knocked down walls in the house to encompass my growing collection,” laughed Dave.
“I am not sure if that was a good thing or not…my collection has grown from there.”
Dave’s dedication to volunteering started 30 years ago at the Redbank Historical Railway Museum (now Ipswich) with hours also put in at Swan Bank Pioneer Steam Railway, Mayne Railway and also being enthusiastically involved with the ‘100 Days of 100 Years of Steam’ celebration at Kuranda Historical Railway near Cairns.
“The Redbank Historical Museum was probably where it all came together for me…. the older guys there were keen to pass on their knowledge and really encouraged my enthusiasm.”
The Woodford Railway operates every first and third Sunday of the month between 10.30am and 3.30pm.
Visit their website www.angrms.org.au for more information or just pop down to Cooloola Wholesalers and have a chat with Dave. He is more than happy to railroad you about his not-so-secret passion!