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Early History
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 SteamRanger's Heritage
Selected downloadable articles from our enthusiast publications

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Notable Enthusiast tour trains operated by ARHS (SA Division)

A selection of published articles describing enthusiast rail excursions operated across the SA broad and narrow gauge network and interstate prior to relocation of operations to Mt Barker in the mid 1990s. Some excursions operated into South Australia by interstate groups are included.

The excursions have been chosen to illustrate the geographical extent and complexity of SteamRanger operations prior to services being constrained to the Victor Harbor branch in the late 1990s.

The services are arranged in chronological order


  •    Awakened Memories of the Rx class Locomotives     Bulletin, Oct 64
    An ARHS excursion over the Riverton-Spalding line behind Rx193 and SteamRangers Rx224
    21st Sept 1963      Author: Guy Bakewell

  •    Finale - Loco 624     July 1966      Recorder Aug 66
    Report on the final run of Pacific 624 to Robertstown before being donated
    for display at ARHS Mile End Museum

  • Farewell to Ellen Street     Bulletin, Sept 68
    Last train to Ellen St Pt Pirie with loco 621, marking station closure on 11th July 1967
    Includes brief history of the station      Authors: Guy Bakewell and John Wilson

  •    Farewell Narrow Gauge Tour - Oct 10th to 13th 1969      Recorder, Oct 69
    Lengthy Report on travel over all but 46 miles of SAR narrow gauge (Excl Eyre Peninsula)
    Travel included Terowie, Gladstone, Pt Pirie, Peterborough, Broken Hill

  •    The Western Endeavour      Recorder October 70
    Although not operated by ARHS (SA), the Western Endeavour was an historic enthusiast excursion. Headed by NSW 38 class locos, it was the first steam train to cross the continent east to west.

  •    "520 Fiesta" - loco 520 returns to Service May 1972      Recorder May 72
    Reports on a series of special movements to mark return of 520 after restoration

  •    Excursion to Mt Gambier with Loco 520 May 1973      Recorder, Jun 73
    Consist included Tambo Sleeper and steel sitting cars
    Side trips on branch lines in SE    Author: Kim Bird

  •    South East Flyer      Recorder, Jun 76
    Lengthy report on weekend excursion with 520 to Mt Gambier and Snuggery
    15th May 1976      Author: Dean Harvey

  •    To Wine by Steam     Recorder , Jan 77
    Highly complimentary article from British Medical Journal describing charter trips
    in May 76, using 520, 621 and DE901 to Barossa Value for College of Surgeons


  •    Rx224 65th birthday party     Recorder, May 80
    Report on ARHS excursion April 1980

  •    K190 in South Australia - 1981      Recorder, Jun 81
    Brief report and photos of visit of Victorian K class loco
    Brief mention of SA tour programme, some with Rx224

  •    Steam to Karoonda - June 1983     Recorder, Aug 83
    Tours report on excursion with loco 520     Author:Brian Busch

  •    Steam Finale 1983      Recorder, Nov 83
    Reports on final steam excursion for 1983; to Burra and Victor Harbor
    Author: Brian Busch

  •    "East of the Border" Excursion to Mt Gambier, Snuggery and Dartmoor - 1984
    Recorder, Aug 84
    Illustrated report on four day tour with "520" leaving Adelaide on 18th May 84 and combining with Victorian consist headed by K183. Continued in September issue

  •    Visit of Victorian loco R761 to South Australia - June 87      Recorder, Aug 87
    Tours to Peterborough and Victor Harbor. Return to Melbourne via Pinaroo.
    Printed article includes 27 photos More photos in July issue

  •    BiCentennial Train Tour of SA - May 1988       Recorder, July 88
    Report on visit of NSW loco 3801, May 88 including local excursions, parallel running with SAR 621.
    Illustrated.     See also "Recorder" Aug and "Catchpoint" July 88

  •    "Flying Scotsman" in South Australia - visit of British loco 4472      Recorder, Sep 89
    Extensive set of photos of visit to SA in mid Aug 89 enroute to Alice Springs
    and local tours north of Adelaide on 25th to 27th Aug.      See also Oct issue
  •    R766 in South Australia - June 1991       Recorder, Jul 91
    Report on visit of Victorian steam loco R766 and associated tours to Nuriootpa and Mt Barker
    and then a return to Melbourne via Mt Gambier (more photos in Aug 91 issue)
    Author: Brian Busch

  •    Mystery Trip to Mt Barker August 1991      Recorder, Sep 91
    Double headed movement with 621 and 520. Two photos      Author: Brian Busch

  •    SteamRanger's Loco Birthday Celebrations       Catchpoint, Jan 94
    Adelaide to Victor Harbor with Rx207, 621 and 520 on 12th November 1993
    Author: Brian Busch

  •    The Duke Heads East - 1994      Catchpoint, Jul 94
    The last broad gauge ARHS excursion to Victoria in May 1994
    Author: Bob Sampson