Fathers day today and our day we had planned for sometime which was a trip on the Pichi Rchi Railway which ran from Quorn (spelt with Qu not C) to Woolshed Flat and return. I say we had planned for some time because the train is very popular and is limited in the days and times it travels. The train departed at 10.30am and returned at about 1pm so we left Hawker around 9ish in convoy (Pete, Robyn, Gaz, Shaz Di and myself to make sure we gave ourselves enough time. Today Di and I are being chaffeured. The rail station has been restored and looks a treat, it also has a rail fan shop attached for the enthusiast.
We arrived around 10 so we had a bit of time to look around and inspect our mode of transport. Our loco seemed to be much “later” model compared to other steam trains we had been on and had a much more modern appearance. Apparently in SA they were still building new steam loco’s around the late 50’s early 60’s. The rolling stock was a different story. All 6 or so carriages came from a different vintage between the early 1900’s to about 1930. Our particular carriage was built around 1906 and had a number of functions over its life including and infant welfare carriage and hospital carriage (it contained 32 beds) to name a few. The volunteers have done and re still doing a marvellous job retaining this part of our heritage. The journey out and back was very relaxing and went through some great country – always changing as it seems to do up here. There were a number of cuttings through hills that were only just wide enough for the train to pass through and would be a bit of a shock to you if you had your head out the window, that is if you woke up. Our conductor on the return journey told of a story of an ABC radio host who was made keen on trains and recorded the sound of the wheels on the track. Normally the bogies (thing that attaches the wheels to the train) have 4 wheels but on this occasion they had 6 wheels and made quite a distinctive sound. He was trying to figure out how to record them when he disappeared. They found him some time later in the toilet with his recording mike down the toilet chute recording the sound. And for those that don’t know in the old days the toilet was just a chute that dropped the contents of the toilet onto the tracks as the train went on its merry way.
|One of the cuttings|
|Inside the “emporium”|