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As I type this on my phone I am sitting at the Toowoomba railway station ready to set off on the Dawnie Express on its next leg of the steam train journey to Roma.

The final destination is Charleville. The inaugural “Fur Ball” will be held there. This fundraiser will hopefully help our exquisite native animal, the bilby, from heading even further into the spiralling descent towards extinction. Our Australian wildlife desperately need our help to survive and the Bilby Foundation is such a worthy cause. The legendary Frank Manthey began the fight for awareness and respect for the bilby, and all Australian wildlife, many years ago and it is his passion that helped keep up the momentum that has led to this occasion.

This event will become a popular annual event for Australians and for people from overseas. The steam train trip has been wonderful. The other travellers are all such a friendly bunch and everyone meanders around on the train backwards and forwards to the dining car or just to socialise. People on roadsides and in towns wave madly at the train, and everyone enthusiastically returns the greetings.

Many of the passengers are travelling by themselves but the train is one big happy family. By the time we all get to the “Fur Ball” we might even remember each other’s names!

Some people on the train are going out on the train just for the trip and a couple of nights in Charleville. Others are just doing one or two legs of the journey. A few people who didn’t get tickets for the ball have now changed their minds and are going to get tickets at the door.

If I survive the week I will write more about the cause and the occasion when I am sitting in front of a bigger keyboard! Put this event into your calendar for next year!