The man who rediscovered a beloved Brisbane rollercoaster nearly 20 years after its heyday is now making plans to restore it to its former glory.
Brisbane residents have recalled their childhood memories of the Myer Centre Dragon Coaster after photographs of its current whereabouts were posted on Facebook by Brisbane man Dean Davis.
It turns out it has spent the past 10 years dumped outdoors on a property in Geelong, nearly 1800 kilometres away, along with other disused amusement rides.
The photos were met with overwhelming positive reaction from those who forged memories on the ride during its time at Top’s fun park.
Mr Davis has even had calls from those keen to buy it themselves.
But he is now in discussions with his friend, on whose land the former coaster has been dumped, about bringing it back to Brisbane and get it running again as a trackless train.
“There’s a lot of interest in it up here and I want to take it off his hands. He’s not using it, so it’s only going to sit there and rot,” Mr Davis said.
“It’s probably one of those things I’ll look at doing in the next couple of months.”
The coaster ran high above shoppers in the Queen Street shopping centre between 1988 and 2000, and was turned into a trackless train sometime after the park closed.
Mr Davis, who works in the amusement rides industry, said the location of the former coaster was no secret to him.
“I’ve seen it half a dozen times in the past six years. I thought, ‘I really should take a photo and put it up, and see what sort of traction it gets’,” he said.
‘It will be a big restoration job’
It will take time and money to bring the trackless train back to working order.
“It’d have to be completely disassembled,” Mr Davis said.
“It’d be a big restoration, it’d be a 12-month job for myself, because I wouldn’t be able to work on it every day. Just do bits and pieces every day and you’d just do bits and pieces here and there.
“Take carriages off the frames, get everything sandblasted, see if anything’s damaged and get it replaced, any fibreglass that’s damaged, it’ll have to be sanded back and repainted.
To bring it back from the state it’s in will be $50,000 to $60,000.”
Mr Davis said he was capable of doing it all himself.
“I’ve had amusements rides before and they haven’t been in great shape, so we’ve just stripped them down and started again. It’s just easier to start that way,” he said.
Mr Davis said he would like to see the trackless train operate in South Bank, Queen Street Mall, Botanical Gardens, or even Roma Street Parklands.
“It’d be an attraction in itself, people seem to be nostalgic for things like that these days, and there’s not a lot of it around,” he said.
“If I did do that I’d put a good proposal, I’d try to have it somewhere it could have its own heritage plaque and things like that, if we were to do it. We’d do it properly.”
‘It belongs in a museum’
Brisbane resident Lexie Lamb could hardly believe it when she saw Mr Davis’s photos of the former coaster having spent spent time in the past trying to track down its whereabouts.
“It’s definitely the coaster,” she said, adding she thought it should be in a Queensland museum.
Ms Lamb said she has many memories of riding the Dragon Coaster as a teen with her cousin.
“We’d go on it over and over again,” she said. “It was just so fun, and there’s nothing like that anymore
She said the thought of having it back in Brisbane was exciting.
“It’d be so good if I could show my kids,” she said. “It’s a memory of Brisbane,” she said.