Blue Suede Express stops at the East Fork

THE East Fork station usually only sees signs of life in the wee hours of the morning, but on Thursday, the situation was quite different.

The Blue Suede Express passed through the station on its way from Sydney to Parkes for the Parkes Elvis Festival.

The stop allowed Elvis performers Chris Summerhayes, Elvis Gersbach, Greg Jones and Ben Coultas from Parkes to greet the train and travel the final leg with the passengers.

“We’re just here to spread the joy,” Mr Summerhayes said. 

“We make sure they’re kept informed and keep them in a good mood,” Mr Jones said. 

Mr Gersbach, who changed his name to Elvis via deed poll, said he had been a fan of The King since he was a child. 

“He’s got great charisma and changed the face of everything,” he said. 

The group said the atmosphere of the festival kept them coming back year after year.

“We’ve never seen trouble and the whole town has a good time,” Mr Gersbach said. 

“There’s great people and we meet people from all over Australia,” Mr Summerhayes said. 

Miss Priscilla 2017 Jacki Batt was also with the group before she handed over the mantle on Thursday night. 

“The whole weekend is good fun and it’s great for Parkes,” she said. 

“I like the slow songs they do at the pubs.”

An estimated 100 people are staying at accommodation in Orange to visit the festival, with package deals including daily bus transfers to Parkes.

Among them will be Kristen Kable and her partner, Carl Zammit from Camden, who exited the train at the East Fork.

Ms Kable, who originally hails from Orange, said it was a chance to catch up with friends and try something new.

“We haven’t been before so we thought it would just be good to have a look,” she said. 

Mr Kable, whose favourite Elvis number was Blue Suede Shoes, said he enjoyed the train journey.

“It was great, I’d do it again,” he said. 

There are still seats available on the buses for Orange residents wanting to visit Parkes during the festival to purchase through the Orange Visitor Information Centre on 1800 069 466.

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