Port Augusta SA 22nd of October 2017
In October 2017 the Trans Australian Railway celebrates its centenary. The 1,051 mile or 1,691 km railway was built through some of the world’s most inhospitable and largely uninhabited country. For example the entire line never had to cross a major watercourse, summer daytime temperatures were well above 40 degrees Celsius then there were duststorms, flies and freezing nights in winter. As there were no settlements on the route all food, water and materials had to be railed from either Port Augusta (eastern end) or Kalgoorlie (the western end). Adding to the problems was a shortage of workers and materials due to the First World War.
The line was started in September 1912 and the final rails were joined at a point near Ooldea in South Australia on the 17th of October, 1917. At that point Australia was finally united as a Federation of states and territories. Indeed one of the primary reasons that Western Australia had joined the Australian Federation in 1901 was the promise of a railway line linking east and west.
On the 22nd of October 1917 the first passenger train departed Port Augusta for Kalgoorlie.
Port Augusta will be celebrating these events on Sunday the 22nd of October 2017.
Some of the activities planned include:
The Pichi Richi Railway Historical Society will run a special train from Quorn for the day. They will also run a morning and afternoon shuttle to Stirling North and return before returning to Quorn later in the day;
Port Augusta Vehicle Restorers Club will provide a vintage car display 1912 – 1970;
The Royal Australian Mint have minted a commemorative coin set for the centenary, we are in discussion to have them present on the day;
Australia Post are printing a special set of stamps for the centenary;
Great Southern Railway have donated a trip for 2 Gold Class Sydney to Perth (or vice versa) on the Indian Pacific valued at $A9,000. Entry is open to all in attendance and the draw will be held on the day:
“Living and Working on the Trans Australian Railway” exhibition at the Platform Gallery, Port Augusta Railway Station;
Royal Australian Air Force flyover;
Special Book / Nick Anchen –Sierra Publications are releasing a special book commemorating Outback Railways concentrating on the Commonwealth Railways with employee interviews, stories and photos;
Special monument to be unveiled on the day;
Budd Car ex Commonwealth Railways CB2 will be on display on the day;
Genesee & Wyoming Australia will have a number of standard gauge diesel locomotives on display at the Port Augusta Railway Station on the day with access to the cabs for the general public;
Entertainment – Local musicians will provide entertainment throughout the day.
The refreshment rooms will be open as well as other food and drink stalls.
Keep an eye on this forum/subject for updates as they happen.
You can also follow updates as they are posted on the Commonwealth Railways Group Facebook page.
More to follow……………..