A one of a kind heritage train involved in a violent collision just west of Griffith will cost "well into the thousands" to repair, but will eventually return to the tracks.
The locomotive was taking 87 passengers on a scenic trip through the Riverina when it slammed into a truck crossing the Tharbogang railroad, in an accident which left the truck on its side and the front of the train crumpled.
The truck driver, three train conductors and all train passengers managed to escape injury.
The NSW 620 class, two-carriage diesel was built in 1961 and is the only train of its kind still operating.
Bruce Angland, operations manager for the Rail Motor Society, says the train will take three to four months to repair.
To see all that hard work disintegrate through one silly driver is a bit of a shock to the system- Bruce Angland, Rail Motor Society
"Fortunately most of the damage is just bodywork, there's no major damage to the frame so it should be easily repairable," Mr Angland said.
"But it's going to cost well into the thousands to fix."
Mr Angland said the train had taken a lot of work to restore and it was a shame to have the hard work suddenly ripped away.
"It truly is disappointing," he said. "To see all that hard work disintegrate through one silly driver is a bit of a shock to the system."
The locomotive was scheduled for a big trip into South Australia and Victoria next month, but the accident now means the voyage will have to be cancelled and tickets refunded.
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Mr Angland said he hopes the accident would be a wake up call for distracted drivers.
"In the country areas, especially where there is very low volume of trains, near-misses are fairly regular," he said.
"This is the first time in 35 years of operation we've actually collided with another vehicle. Hopefully people will pay a little bit more attention now."
The operations manager added that it was very fortunate the accident had resulted in no injuries or fatalities.
He said if the truck involved had been loaded - it could have been a very different story.
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