Despite the fickle weather I ventured out with the twins today to see the National Railway Museum at Port Adelaide.
The showers probably meant a smaller Sunday crowd than usual, which meant we had no trouble moving about the site and getting a ride on the 457mm gauge railway.
It’s said to be Australia’s largest railway museum, with more than 100 exhibits representing State, Commonwealth and private railway operators.
The museum was originally located in Railway Terrace, Mile End, just down the road from where I live now. It opened at Port Adelaide in December 1988.
The museum is a self-supporting, non-profit enterprise, which only occasionally receives government grants for special projects.
It has an impressive collection of rolling stock. I was interested in the Bluebird (pictured right).
Bluebirds were self-propelled carriages originally used for country passenger operations by the South Australian Railways. They were built to provide “modern” air-conditioned services on the country passenger rail system where the patronage did not warrant the use of locomotive hauled passenger trains.
Bluebirds operated on many country passenger lines across South Australia including Victor Harbor, Mount Gambier, Nurriootpa, Burra, Whyalla and Broken Hill. The last train ran on Saturday, January 30, 1993.
Good-value family outing
Admission to the museum wasn’t too expensive, $12 for me and $6 each for the kids. There were no additional costs to ride the train.
James and Maggie enjoyed checking out the old carriages, ringing the crossing bells and watching the model railway.
I’m not sure they appreciated the history, but they enjoyed the experience.
Here is a slideshow of the Flickr set, posted here:
And here is a short video from aboard the train: