Farina, South Australia

  MP222 Station Staff

I found this article on the ABC news website. It mentions "two original railway carriages" being restored along with relaying some narrow gauge track at Farina. Going by one of the photos, one wagon appears to be a sheep wagon. Does anyone know the identity of the wagons.

7.30 South Australia
By Mike Sexton
Updated Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:24pm AEST
[img]http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/4768718-3x2-340x227.jpg[/img] [b]Photo:[/b] Tom Harding and Martin MacLennan at the restored bakery (Rob Fairweather)

[b]Map: [/b]Marree 5733

It is not often a man in his 70s is moved to tears at the sight of two old rail cars but it happened to Tom Harding recently.
In his retirement, the Victorian man committed himself to restoring the ghost town of Farina in the South Australian outback.
The town was settled in 1878 for farming and blossomed in the decade that followed when the Great Northern Railway was extended from Adelaide toward Alice Springs.
Farina was at the northern end of the line and supported a population of several hundred workers and their families.
It had pubs, a hospital, a school and shops, one of them a brick bakery built into the ground.
[img]http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/4768760-3x2-340x227.jpg[/img] [b]Photo:[/b] Farina was once on the thriving inland rail line (Supplied)

The railway was extended to Marree in 1884 and Farina continued as a transport hub for cattle, sheep and grain.
During the world wars it was part of a strategic military transport corridor.
But after World War II its significance started to wane and when the Ghan railway was routed away from the town in 1980 the last residents left.
Farina then began being reclaimed by the desert.
That was when Tom Harding discovered it.
He had a caravan repair business and some clients asked him to take them on caravanning holidays to see some of the Australian interior.
"We always stopped at Farina because it is the nicest, fresh campground you will see north of Port Augusta, when all else is dry and shimmering," he said.
Living memories of a time past[img]http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/4768728-16x9-340x191.jpg[/img] [b]Photo:[/b] Volunteers are bringing life back to the town (Rob Fairweather)

Mr Harding decided he would try to consolidate some of the ruins at Farina and call on the skills and muscle of other grey nomads to help him.
"I don't use the word restore because that suggests bringing the buildings back to how they used to be, which is impossible," he said.
"But we have cleaned things up, stabilised some buildings, built some protections and, most importantly, put up information and interpretation signs so other visitors will get some understanding of what this town was like."
One of those bitten by the Farina bug was Martin MacLennan, who now takes time off from his bakery business in Adelaide annually and drives the 800 kilometres to Farina.
With help from others, he was able to get the subterranean bakery working again.
The wood-fired oven from the 1890s again is producing bread, cakes and pasties, which are proving popular with tourists.
The sales have raised thousands of dollars to fund more improvements at Farina.
Recently, two original railway carriages were returned to Farina and volunteers built a section of narrow gauge rail track for them to permanently reside in the town.
More than three decades it abandoned Farina, the railway had returned and it was enough to bring tears to the eyes of a grown man.
"If we left it like [it was] our grandchildren would not really have an understanding of what an early inland Australian township was like," Tom Harding said.
"That is our mission, to leave behind the full story of that town and it is working for us and we are having a lot of fun doing it."

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  MaskedRailfan Train Controller

SAR 'W' class open wagon & 'Sn' sheep van, from Pichi Richi I suspect.

There was a cracking photo of a Budd Car passing through Farina in an earlier TV story on Farina a couple of years back, that I'd like to see again. It showed the car crossing over the narrow gauge yard which was probably only just out of use. Anyone else seen this photo or better still know where it can be seen?
  MP222 Station Staff

There was a feature about Farina on Landline, ABC TV, on Sunday 14th July. The program can be viewed on iView, and has some railway material at about the 46 minute mark. The sheep loading ramp has been reconstructed with the Sn wagon placed alongside.

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