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Locos and Rollingstock

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         News for Members and Supporters


SHR operates the following services

The Cockle Train between
        Goolwa & Victor Harbor
The Southern Encounter
       Mt Barker to Victor Harbor
The Southern Hills Special
       Goolwa to Mt Barker
The Bugle Ranger
       Mt Barker to Bugle Ranges
The HighLander
       Mt Barker to Strathalbyn
The Finniss Flyer
       Goolwa to Finniss

Running dates,schedules and motive power vary through the year



To return to these pages
click on the
option under MAIN MENU
on any train services page

Our full colour brochure
detailing services until
April 2017 is now available
at tourist outlets

To download a copy
of our 2016/7 brochure

and use your browser BACK button
to return to this page


With the beginning of 2106/7 holiday services the following loco arrangements are likely to occur, subject to weather restrictions and loco and crew availability

Wed 21st - Fri 23rd Dec
RedHen railcars
(Three return trains a day)

Tues 27th - Sat 31st Dec
Two steam trains in service
(Six return trains a day)
headed by locos 621 and Rx207

Sunday 1st Jan - Sun 7th
Steam 621
(Three return trains a day)

Mon 8th to Sun 21st Jan
Steam Rx207
(Three return trains a day)

Sun 22nd to Sat 28th Jan
Steam 621
(Three return trains a day)

All motive power subject to loco availability, servicing requirements and loadings




SteamRanger holds regular monthly meetings at 7.30pm on the last Thursday of each month except December in the West Adelaide Football Club rooms.

Our South Coast Volunteers Group also meets regularly at Goolwa and Victor Harbor - More details of their activities further down this column.

Visitors are welcome at meetings at both locations.

To look at SHR volunteering
opportunities download a
brochure in pdf format HERE


HR Manager Andrew McDonough has compiled a list of areas where new volunteers would be welcome and who should be contacted

  • Rx224 Restoration -
    Craig Dunstan
  • Brill 43 Restoration -
    Phil Neville
  • Railcar 364 Restoration,
    Signals & Comms -
    Troy Barker
  • Track Work -
    Ray Green
  • Environmental Team -
    Malcolm Merritt
  • Mt Barker Station Housekeeping -
    Andrew McDonough


The office bearers for 2015/6 are;
Chair - Bill Lewis
Vice Chair - Peter Wood
Secretary - Alan Potter
Treasurer - Rosemary Kelly
SHR BOM Rep - Ray Green
Newsletter Editor - Elaine Wood

If you live on the coast and would like to become involved in this group
just call Secretary Alan Potter
on 8554 3850


Forthcoming Train Operations

The brochure shown in the left column details proposed services to April 2017 and the table to the left summarises our more regular services, including regular Cockle Trains on Sundays and Wednesdays year round and daily in most school holidays.

An intensive series of trains will operate from Wed December 21st to the end of January 2017, most trains featuring one or other of our active steam locos "621" and "Rx207", with a very busy program of six trains a day between Xmas and New Year and three trains a day thereafter.

Special Trains will also run to Finniss (en route to Strathalbyn) and from Goolwa to Victor on New Years Eve

Tickets sold on the day at Goolwa, Pt Elliot and Victor Harbor stations.

For full details and booking arrangements CLICK HERE to go to our Booking and Promotional Pages

SHR gains some more "heritage" rolling stock

SteamRanger recently took delivery of a 2000 class railcar power car and a 2100 series trailer. As our photo by Steve McNichol records these were delivered by low loader which took a rather devious route from the STA depot via Roseworthy, Truro, Mannum and Strathalbyn (due to road clearances) and are now securely stabled at Goolwa Depot.

The raicars were donated by the State government, following general scrapping of the class consequent on electrification of several Adelaide commuter lines. Two of the final group of STA's cars , each of which can carry 100 or so passengers) was donated to SteamRanger (cars 2109 and 2010), the National Railway Museum at Port Adelaide and one to the SA Metro Fire Service (for training purposes) The cars entered service in 1980 and 1981 and had accumulated some 34years of commuter service

SHR Mechnical Services manager, Craig Dunstan, and his team have begun inspection of the cars and driver training will be undertaken in forthcoming months, with no immediate timetable to introduce the fully airconditioned cars into passenger traffic - but "watch these pages!" .

Dean Harvey turns 90!

Avid readers of the 'Advertiser's Birthdays, Births, Deaths and Marriages column recently would have seen a small "Birthday" entry with the SHR logo offering congratulations to longtime SHR identity Dean Harvey OAM on his 90th birthday. Dean was a foundation member of the ARHS in 1952 and became President in 1955.

Dean went on to devote his life to railways and at the age of 90 has lost none of the passion that saw him successfully campaign to keep steam engines running on the Mount Barker to Victor Harbor line. He also rescued five steam engines and countless vintage carriages from scrap and managed hundreds of train tours. Dean created the name SteamRanger and worked long hours to make it the success it is today but with the help of 247 volunteers. Everything is done to perfection so much so that SteamRanger has won innumerable Tourist Awards.

Locomotive 621 was ready for scrapping when Dean enquired how much it would cost to fully restore it. $10,000 in 1970. The Commissioner, Ron Fitch, was "gob smacked" when Dean said "here is the money". Ron never thought that a bunch of railway enthusiasts could raise what was a very large sum back in those days. Dean heard that The Duke of Edinburgh would be in Australia at the same time so 621 was named "Duke of Edinburgh" in April 1971, but was unable to attend the ceremony.

On 29th January 1988 SteamRanger operated a special "Royal Train" between Victor Harbor and Goolwa as part of a visit to Australia by the Prince and Princess of Wales. That took a lot of organising and contacting the "right" people. Awarded an O.A.M. in 1981 for preserving and operating vintage tourist trains, Dean led SteamRanger to raise $800,000 to build a maintenance depot in Dry Creek in 1980, a project he designed and supervised.

His most satisfying achievement was leading efforts to prevent the Mount Barker to Victor Harbor railway from being closed. This involved raising more than $3 million through grants and a 'buy a railway sleeper' campaign. The organisation thought so highly of Dean that Locomotive Rx 207 now bears his name.

A man with a passion for trains!

These words are taken from a longer report on Dean's career written by Ivan Marchant and published in the Aust 2016 member's "Bulletin" - Photo: Dean and wife Loryse with the "Duke of Edinburgh" - Roger Currie

And less happy news followed in January 2017, advising members and friends that Dean had passed away late in the month. His funeral service took place on Tuesday 30th January at Adelaide's Centennial Park and was well attended by members, friends and colleagues.

Farewell Dean, after an impressive career and significant contributions to heritage railways and our condolances to Loryse and his extended family!

Golden Abloy Award

SteamRanger was recently contacted by the world wide patron of the Golden Abloy Awards in regard to an exciting prospect that one of our very own volunteers was to be considered for the most prestigious "Golden Abloy Key" award. The award is granted to a volunteer of outstanding quality who has over many years demonstrated an ability to train new station masters and other volunteers for heritage railway organisations.

After many months of research it was determined that our very own Graeme Strudwick was a prime candidate and an outstanding plaque was received with a "Gold Abloy" key mounted as the central feature with suitably engraved details of the recipient.

The award was presented on behalf of the Patron, Mr Locke, on the llth July 2016 at the Victor Harbor station with several of Graeme's work colleagues present. The award was humbly accepted by Graeme and it was noticeable that he was quite taken aback by being nominated We thank Graeme for his outstanding efforts and hope that he has many more days of training new station masters into the future.

Long Service Awards

Multi skilled HR Manager Andrew McDonough has been busy finalising the 2106 Long Service Awards for volunteers who have contributed 4, 8 or 16 years of service to SHR. Some 10 volunteers have been acknowledged and presented with certicates at various venues for contributing 4 years of service. Kym Goodsell received a silver certificate for 8 years service at Goolwa Depot whilst John Heyer (loco depot and track) and Mathew Job (work at Mt Barker Depot and as a loco fireman) were awarded Gold certicates for 16 years service

John Heyer

The first 2016 gold award was to John Heyer who back in the 1970s, as an SAR and AN driver, spent many hours training SHR's first volunteer drivers, some of whom are still with us today. Our historic photo captures John in charge of a steam loco way back in 1998!

After many years as a driver and loco trainer John moved on to join with Graham and Michelle Bull to form our first track maintenance team, working over the full length of the Mt Barker Junction to Victor line. Graham was present at the 2016 award function. After a break due to a foot injury John returned to the track team in 2011 and later returned to the driver training role, qualifying volunteers to drive SHR's section cars. He finally retired in 2015

Thank you John for your outstanding contributions and we hope to see you around our railway from time to time

Mathew Job

Mathew commenced contributing to SHR in about 2000, when SHR moved to Mt Barker and he was only around 13 years of age. He worked with his already active SHR volunteer father, Brenton

He qualified as a loco observer in 2011 and later qualified as a fireman in which roles he is rostered from time to time as well as continuing as a valuable and regular willing depot worker.

Congratulations Mathew on your gold award.

Readers can CLICK HERE to go to our "Whos who" webpage to see a listing of all award recipients in 2016
and copies of separate posters showing current and retired volunteers presented with awards since 2003.

Recent Maintenance Activities

The following paragraphs outline the status and maintenance programme of key locos and railcars.
If you would like to read more detailed information and what has happened in the recent past
CLICK HERE to go to our maintenance and restoration pages

  • Brill Diesel Railcar 43

    In 2008 SHR was fortunate in receiving a donation of a genuine Brill power car - as opposed to Car 60 which SHR had converted from a trailer car. Car43 was one of the original order for Islington-built Brill Railcars and entered service on 26th March 1928. It was eventually converted to Permanent Way Sleeper PWS 28 in April 1973. The car was purchased by long-time ARHS member John Wilson who, with a small number of Clare Valley enthusiasts, was hoping to retain the Clare branch line as a tourist railway.

    John installed Car 43 on a short length of track at his vineyard, At the time a roof was built over the car as shown in the adjacent photo and over the years some initial restoration work was undertaken. Following discussions with Dr Wilson an arrangement was negotiated in that the Wilson Vineyard has donated the car to the SHR and relocated it to Goolwa Depot without cost to the Society.

    A "Brill 43 Restoration Team" has now been formed at Goolwa depot.
    Those present at the inaugural meeting were, (L to R) - Rowena Lewis, Richard Parkinson, Mark Batten, Peter Schneider, Ray Green, Alan Potter, Chris Thompson and Phil Neville. The convenor, Rowena, had earlier applied for, and was granted, a $1,400 grant from the State Government.

    The Manager, SHR Mechanical Services, Craig Dunstan, has produced a document outlining the requirements from his point of view. The meeting appointed Phil Neville, with his extensive experience with RC60’s restoration and on-going maintenance as project manager.. It was agreed that additional help would be seconded as required, including the possible employment of “Work-for-the-Dole” people. Work will commence once the Brill has returned to the shed

    CLICK HERE to read more about Car 63 and its restoration on our rolling stock pages

  • Steam loco Rx224

    As part of a major overhaul, the loco wheels have been machined, springs rebuilt, valves rebored, tender frame rebuilt with new water tank, new valve spindles and brake beams, all suspension running gear rebuilt, frame sections replaced, new axle horn guides and thrust plate renewed and set up, axle boxes rebuilt.

    The boiler required retubing and overhauling, rusted running boards and cab rusty sections cut out and renewed. Tender bogies required overhauling and wheel sets retyred

    These recent photos show Mt Barker Depot employees Ollie Lukins and Shaun Cassidy hard at work on parts on the loco

    Latest News!
    It is just 12 months ago that a major milestone was achieved with the reuniting of Rx224’s refurbished engine frame, pony truck and driving wheel sets.

    Extensive overhaul work has been performed on the frame including major cracked sections replaced, complete rear engine drag box fabricated and renewed, newly fabricated horn blocks, machined valve liners, overhauled axle boxes, new driving axle springs, overhauled pony truck, machine clean up of journals and tyre wheel tread machining. Extensive overhaul work has been performed on the main pistons, piston rods and cross head tapers along with newly case valve bobbins.

    And here's the evidence!

    It has been some 12 years since wheels and frame were last together and it is exciting to see the loco finally beginning to take shape. Much of the underframe components have already undergone overhaul work and have anxiously been waiting installation.

    Work has continued steadily throughout 2016. A job well done by SteamRanger staff and volunteers in bringing the components back together and beginning the next chapter in the restoration of the loco.

  • Steam loco 520

    Tender stripping is nearing completion with all sections except original floor, both outer frame beams and rear buffer requiring replacement due to corrosion beyond salvage.

    Reverser and reversing wheel screw have been overhauled ex 520 for reverser to be installed on 621. Reverser ex 621 will be overhauled and along with overhauled screw mechanism, fitted to 520.

  • Railcars

    Cars yet to be Commissioned

    Car 424
    This car has now been brought into the workshop. Damage done to the mechanical aspects of the traction engines under the car whilst at Mt Gambier has been repaired. Further preparatory and 'tune-up' work was also done. This enabled the engines to be started and then be able to assess what problems will need rectification. These will take some time to work through.

    With the continued dedicated efforts by Daryl Simon, Geoff Hancock, Trevor Sachse and Tony Elliot we should see more famous Red Hens out and about on our network soon. Without these railcars, one has to ask where would SteamRanger be today?

    To read more on railcar restoration please click HERE and spool down to the Railcar section.

    Click HERE to visit our Loco web page
    for more detail on the above activities and a selection of workshop photos.

    Click HERE if you would like to look further back at reports on our
    Operational, Mechanical Services, Infrastructure and other activities
    as reported on our website over the last five years or so



    National Railway Museum, Port Adelaide

    In 1963 a group of rail preservationists, alarmed at the scrapping of steam locomotives which had served South Australia for many decades, set about saving, restoring and maintaining many of the historic vehicles in this museum today, initially at Mile End as a part of the ARHS and later as a separate body.

    In 1988 the museum was fortunate enough, with the involvement of the History Trust of SA, to obtain a $2m Australian Bicentennial Commemorative Grant to relocate to its current site at Port Adelaide. Later Centenary of Federation funding allowed construction of the Commonwealth Railway Museum within the museum's precinct

    The Museum features train rides, exhibits and displays. Its activities include a sales centre, tours and the publication of a national magazine as well as the operation of a tourist steam railway along the beachfront at Semaphore. The Museum is open from 10 am until 5 pm every day of the year except Christmas Day.

    Click HERE to visit the NRM website.

    [IMAGE] Preserved and Tourist Rail in New Zealand

    The New Zealand equivalent of ATHRA (see panel to the left) is FRONZ, the Federation of Rail Organisations of New Zealand has an interesting website HERE which gives a good overview of heritage rail operations in NZ.

    Copies of their excellent newsletter "Federation Journal" can be downloaded by clicking HERE

    (Step back to this page using your browser BACK button once or twice)

    [IMAGE] Railway Technical Society of Australasia SA Chapter

    The RTSA is a Technical Society of the Institution of Engineers Australia.
    Visitors with a railway interest are most welcome to attend meetings as visitors.

    Information on the RTSA SA Chapter can be downloaded by clicking HERE
    (Step back to this page using your browser BACK button once or twice)

    [IMAGE]Association of Tourist Railways (Victoria)

    ATR is the coordinating body for heritage rail in Victoria.

    It produces an on-line newsletter "The Electric Telegraph" on a regular basis
    The latest copy and earlier archived copies can be read HERE
    and there are also links to various other ATR webpages

                                (Step back to this page using your browser BACK button once or twice)


    These pages are compiled by volunteers for the information of our members and supporters. We try to add new information weekly, so come back often!
    If you can contribute news and photographs please contact us at info@steamranger.org.au

    A number of photos used on these pages have been contributed to our Facebook page and/or have been obtained without precise identification and we have not been able to accurately identify and credit the photographer. We will willingly add these details if you contact us.

    For more detailed and up to date news on Loco, Rollingstock or Track activities go back to our home page
    and click on one of the VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES buttons