21 May 2001

The Port Dock Station Railway Museum will be holding a special ‘Behind the Scenes’ event this coming weekend, Saturday and Sunday 26/27 May. The weekend has all the ingredients for a fun event with plenty of train rides for the kids, new and exciting things to see and do and an opportunity for South Australians to re-acquaint themselves with Australia’s best railway museum.

Visitors will be able to get a rare ‘Behind the Scenes’ look at areas that are normally ‘off-limits’ to the public and also see some of the exciting developments under way at the Museum.

A spokesperson for Port Dock Museum, Mark Carter said, ""Past visitors will be surprised at the amount of progress since they last paid a visit to the Museum. First time visitors will get the opportunity to see what is without question the best railway museum in Australia and one recognised as being in the top-ten worldwide."

Visitors will get a sneak preview of the Centenary of Federation Commonwealth Railways Museum project. The new pavilion has been funded with the help of a $560,000 Centenary of Federation grant, complemented by thousands of hours of ‘in-kind’ labour from the Museum’s volunteer workforce.

The pavilion will be officially opened in October this year and will house the Museum’s priceless collection of Commonwealth Railways exhibits and memorabilia.

Guided tours
will allow visitors the opportunity to inspect the work carried out on the pavilion to date and view progress on the restoration of a number of historic carriages from the famous Trans Australian and Tea and Sugar trains.

Also open for inspection and some hands on fun will be the recently restored Woodville Signal Cabin which for many years controlled the train movements through busy Woodville station. Kids can have the opportunity of pulling the levers that control train movements over Port Dock’s tracks.

Train rides
will be available on no less than three different rail gauges, including behind the Museum’s 3’6" gauge steam locomotive Peronne which spent all its working life on the wharves at Port Pirie, and which will haul vintage narrow gauge carriages over the newly extended track work at the Museum.

Kid’s favourites Bill and Bub from the Semaphore Tourist Railway will provide frequent trips over the Museum’s narrow gauge 457mm track, while a restored South Australian diesel shunting locomotive will provide rides over broad gauge tracks hauling carriages that were once used around the State on country passenger trains.

The State Carriages, Adelaide, Murray and the Vice Regal car which have carried royalty, nobility, government ministers and railway commissioners around the State, to which public access is normally restricted, will also be open for special guided tours.

During the weekend a special photographic display will also be held to commemorate the Centenary of the BHP Whyalla to Iron Knob Tramway which originally opened in 1901. Locomotives that operated over the Tramway will also be on display.

Mark Carter concluded by saying, "It is fitting that the ‘Behind the Scenes’ event comes so soon after National Volunteer week as around 100 volunteers regularly participate in operating the Museum. Port Dock is a shining example of what can be achieved through volunteer input. The event provides an excellent opportunity for the public to get a special look at what has been achieved through the endeavors of the volunteers, at the same time as having a great day out."

Admission is $9 for adults; $3.50 for children (5-15); $6.50 concession; and $20 for a Family ticket. All Trains rides will be $1 per ride. Refreshments will be available from the famous air-conditioned carriage Cafeteria Car that was used on the East-West Express between Adelaide and Port Pirie.

For media information:

Contact Mark Carter on 08 8261 2292 or 0408 800 903


For general information on the event contact:

Port Dock Station Railway Museum on 08 8341 1690

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