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Hundreds on steam train top off hectic long weekend for Orange businesses

June 13, 2022

The Beyer-Garratt 6029 in Orange. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

By Peter Holmes

An influx of travellers for the long weekend and the Orange Winter Jazz Festival have combined to give many Orange businesses a boost.

Vijay Bohra, whose interests include Hotel Orange, Overlander Indian Restaurant and Mid City Motor Lodge, told The Orange News Examiner it had been a “very busy weekend indeed”.

At The Lane Cellars, employee Bryn said that while Monday had been reasonably quiet - as tourists packed up and headed home - his shift on Saturday was hectic, with a lot of out of towners loading up on booze.

Monday was also a little slower at Scrumptious on Summer Cafe, but Saturday and Sunday were very busy.

Margaret Schwebel at Collins Booksellers on Monday. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

It was a similar story at Collins Booksellers, where owner Margaret Schwebel said Saturday and Sunday had seen a lot of tourists in the store buying books.

One local told The Orange News Examiner they found it difficult to find a spare table for dinner at some dining rooms - including the Canobolas Hotel, the Ophir Tavern and the Royal Hotel - as many travellers had booked ahead.

There was a steady stream of customers at Games n More on Monday morning, with owner Nic Drage saying it had been a solid weekend for the business.

Bryn at The Lane Cellars on Monday. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

Benson’s Cafe was slammed on Monday morning as people loaded up before hitting the road.

The Orange Winter Jazz Festival was a co-production between Jam Orange and the Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA), with funding from Orange City Council, the state government and a range of supporters and sponsors.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to was thrilled; people really enjoyed the weekend,” said Jam Orange secretary Susan Flattery.

“We’re happy with the numbers and happy it didn’t snow or rain.”

Vince Jones (L) and Matt McMahon at Orange Civic Theatre on Friday night. Jazz Australia/Facebook.

The festival has funding for three years.

Many shops in the Orange CBD were closed on Monday.

The Beyer-Garratt 6029 at Orange train station on Monday. Copyright; Orange News Examiner.

The weekend was rounded out with the arrival of the Beyer-Garratt 6029, described as "the largest and most powerful operating steam locomotive in the Southern Hemisphere".

Following three days of steam train rides in Bathurst, the Beyer-Garratt headed to Orange carrying a sold out crowd of some 300 people.

It pulled in ahead of schedule, and passengers were given about an hour to eat a packed lunch or wander into town.


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