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     A Look Back at Enthusiast News from our website in 2015

To look at other years click on the dates above                          


These extracts were deleted from the official SHR website as time progressed during the year
and the information reported may have been overtaken by subsequent events
Extracts are not necessarily arranged in strict calendar order
The information below may however give readers looking back a general insight into events during the year


Unexpected Marketing Opportunity

Quite unexpectedly, a recent opportunity arose to promote our services to a wide audience viewing the
"Out of the Blue" TV programme

With the assistance of one of our volunteers from way back, and now TV presenter Brenton Raglass, the producer/director of the program Neil Smith and filmcrew travelled on a recent Cockle Train and obtained some valuable video for presentation which was shown on Channel 7 Adelaide at 5.30pm Saturday 11th July with local and interstate repeats promised later.

Here are a couple of still photos of the filming provided by the film crew TAV Productions, including an interview with SHR guard Ray Green

Longserving SteamRanger identity Dean Harvey recognised by Marion Council

When Dean Harvey was a boy in the mid-1930s his father told him not to follow in the footsteps of himself and his grandfather and be a railway man because “the age of the motor lorry is here”.

Dean went on to devote his life to railways and at the age of 88 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.

At the age of 88 he is currently a major supporter of SteamRanger's project to return massive loco "520" to the rails

Click here to look online at the complete article (opposite) from the council website
and then return to this page by hitting the BACK button on your browser screen.

Farewell Vic Kollosche

Many of our older ARHS members were saddened recently to hear of the passing of long serving SteamRanger volunteer Vic at the age of 83 years. Vic was the loving husband of Beryl and father of Andrew, Janice and Carolyn.

Vic joined the ARHS in September 1967 and was a valuable, well liked and respected volunteer on-train Manager and Guard during the following years when we ran trains right across the State and then primarily on the Victor line.

He was a graduate of the first SteamRanger safeworking course held at Dry Creek which involved some fifteen or so evening lectures and examinations. Other contemporary volunteers who were graduates of that course included Dean Harvey, Ian Johnston, Brian Busch, Trevor Blight, Bob Green, Peter Soar and Andrew Gramp.

His particularly important off-train contribution was as the coordinator of and examiner for our first aid training for many decades and advisor in various HR issues and procedures where his professional employment as a senior St John Ambulance executive and later St John Volunteer provided SHR with invaluable resources.

Vic joined St John in 1950 as a volunteer and, interestingly, in 1952 was a member of the first official St John ambulance crew in metropolitan Adelaide. In 1952 he commenced formal employment with St John and continued services until his retirement after 40 years having achieved the rank of Superintendent and serving on the St John Council, after which he continued as a volunteer. He served as training facilitator for 40 years and in a number of other high level roles. He was awarded the recognition of Knight of St John. In 2009 he was awarded the St John Gift Laurel by the then Governor (photo above) and in 2014 received a 62 year service award. (Photo and information courtesy St John)

South Australian Wooden Boat Festival

The usual three Cockle Train trips ran complemented with late afternoon Railcars from Goolwa , including a service from Goolwa at 9.30pm on the Saturday to allow Victor and Pt Elliot based passengers to watch the fireworks display at Goolwa Wharf

It was originally planned to operate three return services with steam loco 621, but DE507 had to be substituted when the CFS imposed a total fireban for the area. The very high temperatures at Goolwa on both days reduced the number of overall visitors to the Festival and consequently the passenger loads on our trains, which however returned a viable income to cover our costs.

The Victor "Times" reported highlights of the Festival in its issue of February 26th

The wooden boats have now departed Goolwa Wharf after a successful festival. The weekend featured 171 wooden boats of all sizes.

On Saturday the temperature reached 38.9 degreesC and on Sunday 37.8C, but reports were that Saturday night was lovely. The wind dropped out and it was warm and still. Perfect for enjoying the bands and and a fireworks display set off from the Hindmarsh Island Bridge and for the public to admire live music, film screenings, paddle steamer and train rides and sample food, wine

More than 50 volunteers were involved in the running of the festival. Final numbers of the crowd were very encouraging considering the weather.

Rail, Film and History Day - Sunday 24th May

SteamRanger and the Strathalbyn and District Heritage Centre are teamed up to present a
Rail, Film and History Day on Sunday the 24th May , commencing at SteamRanger's Mount Barker Station.

Passengers journeyed by heritage Brill car 60 (above) from Mt Barker to Strathalbyn and return. They enjoyed watching historic film footage and the recently produced "50 Miles of Track" video documentary, then had a BBQ lunch and immersed themselves in a wonderful display of regional and film history at the Strath Heritage Centre.

This was a special South Australian History Month event presented by SteamRanger Heritage Railway and the Strathalbyn Branch of the National Trust of SA

SteamRanger Rhythm and Rail Open Day

On Sunday 28th June, 10.00am to 3.00pm SteamRanger promoted a Rhythm and Rail Open Day at our Mt Barker Depot and Station

There were section car rides to the tunnel, free kids activities all day in the Rose Garden, painting of a train mural, toast marshmallow's over a swagman's campfire, chalk train pictures on the paved walkway.

Exclusive guided Depot tours were conducted, the kitchen was open for morning tea from 10am and luch from 11am - Home style soups, pies, sausage rolls, cakes, light refreshments, hot drinks and cappuccino, Viewing on the Platform 10am-11am "Fifty Miles of Track" documentary and music video - filmed in and around Mount Barker, and live music music with group INNUENDO and wine Tasting by Temple Bruer Organic Wines

And for a nominal fare visitors were able to ride the BugleRanger Red Hen car through the beautiful Adelaide Hills



A number of SteamRanger volunteers (and a passing SHR loco!) attended a recent funeral for longterm south coast volunteer Muriel Kitto who worked for many many years with husband Alan who passed away in 2014.

Muriel and Alan spent many years as Passenger Attendants and in the SHR shop until declining health forced them into retirement

Muriel's funeral notice used the memorable terminology that she was taking her final ride to the Railway in the Sky to join Alan. We will remember you both!

Award to Port Elliot Identity

On Australia Day 2015 Port Elliot identity Lorraine Pomery received a well deserved OAM for service to the Port Elliot community. She was also announced as Alexandrina Council's Citizen of the Year for 2014.

Lorraine was born and bred in Port Elliot and she and her late husband, dressed up as the "Sheriff", greeted almost every SteamRanger train from the days when we first started operating from Adelaide, some 50 years ago, and was a key focus for promoting our activities on the South Coast.

Lorraine described being awarded an OAM and Citizen of the Year as the biggest shock of her life. A total of four OAM recipients this year have ties to Port Elliot. "Everyone's experienced such a thrill that all of us have received this together," Lorraine said. "Everyone's done so much for Port Elliot".

Lorraine said the town’s heritage is very important to her. She reiterated the importance of communities working as a team to achieve.“When you live in a place you become part of it, you have to do your part to look after it.” Along with publishing several books over the years, Lorraine is the current chair of Port Elliot National Trust and a member of Alexandrina Council's Heritage Advisory Committee.

Report above includes material from various South Coast news sources