26 September 2023

Heritage railway to train a new life

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South Australia’s SteamRanger heritage railway has secured funding to pay for much-needed remediation and restoration works.

The historical tourism attraction, which provides 70,000 passenger journeys each year, runs from Mount Barker to Victor Harbor and includes the popular Cockle Train experience.

According to the Department for Environment and Water (DEW), the heritage railway has received $8.9 million in State Government funding for much-needed remediation works.

The Department said recent bridge engineering reports conducted on the nine SteamRanger bridges recommended short and medium-term remediation works be carried out on the State Heritage listed Currency Creek, Watson Gap and Hindmarsh River bridges as well as Tookayerta Creek and Finniss River bridges.

It provided an initial grant payment for urgent short-term remediation works on the Currency Creek and Watson Gap bridges which are due to be completed by 31 May this year.

It also provided funds for additional critical medium-term repairs to the five bridges as part of the government’s 2022-23 Mid-Year Budget Review.

DEW said the railway sat on Crown land, was operated under licence by The Australian Railway Historical Society South Australia Incorporated, and was supported by a dedicated team of volunteers.

The Department said restorations would be completed over the next two years, managed by the Department for Infrastructure and Transport.

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