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50th Anniversary of the National Railway Museum

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
I enjoy writing about Adelaide and its many attractions. If you think Adelaide is boring, the problem is not with Adelaide. Please click the link to Like my articles, and subscribe to see more. adelaideunearthed.blogspot.com.au
Published February 1st 2013
Enjoy rare rides, free entry and more
50th Anniversary of National Railway Museum

50th anniversary, the national railway museum, museum in adelaide, trains in australia, railways heritage
The Mile End Railway Museum in 1986 (Courtesy NRM)


Adelaide has a fantastic collection of museums at Port Adelaide - the Maritime Museum, the SA Aviation Museum, and the National Railways Museum are all set in the attractive historical precinct area.

While many of us visit the museums once, it can be a while before we return to see how the collection has changed. But the National Railway Museum is giving us plenty of reasons to keep coming back, because 2013 is their 50th anniversary and they have released a program packed with special things to do.

I can remember driving along Railway Terrace Mile End in the 80's and wondering what steam trains were doing on the tracks there.

The entire area in that part of Mile End was grim, grey and industrial at the time, so I probably assumed that it was somewhere that the railways stockpiled their disused rolling stock. But I was wrong - that was the early incarnation of the National Railway Museum.

50th anniversary, the national railway museum, museum in adelaide, trains in australia, railways heritage
Exhibits @ Mile End Railway Museum 1985 (Courtesy NRM)


The museum has come an enormous way since those days, largely thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers, and a few government grants. Some now say that it is the best museum in Adelaide.

Coming back to the present, this year the National Railways Museum is giving the public many reasons to get excited about trains in Australia.

Every month there will be a different way to explore our railways heritage, and there is a real beauty to start with in February.

Note: some details may change, so please check the National Railway Museum website before attending. Alternatively Like their Facebook page to get regular updates.

February: Behind the Scenes and Driver Experience

50th anniversary, the national railway museum, museum in adelaide, trains in australia, railways heritage
Explore the Relocated Woodville Signal Cabin


On February 9-10 museum visitors will have the opportunity to inspect areas normally closed to the public including
Vice Regal car
Lounge Car AFA93 - Wegmann
Broken Hill Express Sleeping car - Baroota
Overland Sleeping car - Allambi
900 class diesel cab locomotive
Woodville signal box
Brill Railcar 8
Steam Shed Workshop

50th anniversary, the national railway museum, museum in adelaide, trains in australia, railways heritage
A Brill Rail Car


But best of all there will be the opportunity to drive a Peronne steam engine ($40) or to drive a Red Hen railcar ($20). Bookings are well advanced, so check very soon before the opportunity ends.

If you have any rail enthusiast in your family or friends, this would make an exceptional gift for them! It could even be the start of a new career.

50th anniversary, the national railway museum, museum in adelaide, trains in australia, railways heritage
A Red Hen Rail Car


Obviously you will need to be an adult to drive a train, but for the younger folk (3 years) it will be possible to ride behind the steam engine or Red Hen for $3 each. Normal museum entry charge applies, and check the website for any other conditions.

March: Bluebird Kestrel Outing

50th anniversary, the national railway museum, museum in adelaide, trains in australia, railways heritage
Come Fly With the Kestrel


On March 9-11 2013 the Bluebird Kestrel railcar flies from its nest to provide you with a comfortable shuttle service every 30 minutes. Rides will cost $3 per person (over 3 years only)

Once used for long distance travel within SA, this brilliant comfortable air conditioned train is rarely out of its nest. A colourful part of South Australian railways heritage, the Bluebird rides are sure to be popular.

April: Onkaparinga and Overland Weekend

50th anniversary, the national railway museum, museum in adelaide, trains in australia, railways heritage
The Restored 1911 Onkaparinga Sleeping Car


April 13-14 2013 will be your chance to travel on the recently restored luxurious Onkaparinga sleeping car which went into service in 1911. This was once used on the Overlander - one of the iconic trains of Australia.

Read more about its history here.

50th anniversary, the national railway museum, museum in adelaide, trains in australia, railways heritage
Onkaparinga Sleeper Interior


May: Art Exhibition - Rail in Australia - Yesterday and Today

50th anniversary, the national railway museum, museum in adelaide, trains in australia, railways heritage
Manoora Station. Forgotten by the Community it Served


From May 5-19 there will be a display of winning entries from the Rail in Australia - Yesterday and Today competition.

The exhibition is open to public, and entry is $5 admission per person

Now I wonder if my photo above could win...

June: Railway Antiques and Memorabilia Sale

50th anniversary, the national railway museum, museum in adelaide, trains in australia, railways heritage
900 Class Locomotive and Steam Engine (Courtesy NRM)


On June 16 you have the chance to sell all your old railways memorabilia - those signs that you stole in a drunken Jack Daniels haze, or maybe the spare 900 class locomotive you are keeping on your country block.

I once lived next to the Belair railway line where these monsters would thunder by dragging goods trains past. It caused an enforced 10 minute break from TV viewing while the house rocked on its foundations.

Pre-selected surplus material and props will be on sale, and private sellers are welcome. Gold coin admission is required.

July: Special School Holiday Event

50th anniversary, the national railway museum, museum in adelaide, trains in australia, railways heritage
The Magnificent Essington Lewis Steam Engine


A special series of events is planned for the school holidays, from July 13-21.

All three of NRM's operational trains will be running over the entire 9 days.

Broad gauge Red Hen diesel rail cars, narrow gauge steam engine Peronne will be hauling its usual 3 carriage train, and 457mm gauge steam engines Bub and Bill will be taking youngsters around the museum site.

More details will be available closer to the event.

August: Heritage Transport in SA

50th anniversary, the national railway museum, museum in adelaide, trains in australia, railways heritage
Type 381 Tram at St Kilda Tram Museum


August 7-18 will see collaboration from organisations around the State helping the museum to celebrate its anniversary. There will be displays featuring transport by rail, tram, air and sea.

As a highlight for this event, a narrow gauge 1936 built Morris Inspection Car from Steamtown Peterborough will be on loan to the museum for display and special public runs.

The Bluebird Kestrel will be running from 11am on both Saturday and Sundays, with rides costing $3 per person.

50th anniversary, the national railway museum, museum in adelaide, trains in australia, railways heritage
Maritime Museum's Archie Badenoch on its 75th Birthday


September: Miniature and Model Railway Show

50th anniversary, the national railway museum, museum in adelaide, trains in australia, railways heritage
Mile End Railway Museum 1988 (Courtesy NRM)


September 14 and 15 will feature special displays of miniature (5" and 7" gauge) locomotives and model railway layouts from clubs and individuals.

About 15 separate clubs will join to help celebrate NRM's 50th Anniversary, with about 20 miniature locomotives in addition to about 12 model railway layouts from N scale to G scale featured.

October: Port Adelaide Bi-annual Festival Weekend

50th anniversary, the national railway museum, museum in adelaide, trains in australia, railways heritage
Red Hen at Jacketts Station Port Adelaide (Courtesy NRM)


Courtesy of the City of Port Adelaide Enfield, all three of the major museums at Port Adelaide Maritime, Aviation and Railway Museums will be free to enter on October 19-20.

All three of the National Railway Museum's operational trains will be running over this weekend. Broad gauge Red Hen diesel railcars, narrow gauge steam engine Peronne will be hauling its usual 3 carriage train, and 457mm gauge steam engine Bub will be taking youngsters around the museum site.

The popular shuttle connections will be also available between NRM and the SA Aviation Museum, using Peronne's train.

Local community groups will hold a BBQ for visitors to purchase food and drink, in addition to the cafe car being open for refreshments.

November: Semaphore Celebrations

50th anniversary, the national railway museum, museum in adelaide, trains in australia, railways heritage
Crowds At Mile End Museum 1985 (Courtesy NRM)


On November 2-3 the Semaphore to Fort Glanville railway celebrates its 21st birthday, and forms a special part of NRM's 50th Anniversary year. For the first time ever there will be two steam trains running throughout the two days, with train services about 15 minutes apart. NRM's 457mm gauge steam engines Bub and Bill will be in charge of their respective trains, with about 30 trains operating on both days.

November/December: Return of the Redhens Weekend

50th anniversary, the national railway museum, museum in adelaide, trains in australia, railways heritage
A Red Hen Swoops Around A Corner (Courtesy NRM)


On November 30 and December 1 under special arrangements with SA Public Transport Services, NRM's Redhen railcars will be making special 50th Anniversary runs between the museum and the Adelaide railway station during both days.

It is planned that there will be six return trips on each day. Tickets ($10 per person return) will be available for purchase at both the National Railway Museum and at Adelaide railway station.

Steam loco Peronne and Bluebird Kestrel will also be providing other train ride opportunities at the museum during the Adelaide station runs.
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Why? Railways make the world go round.
When: See website
Phone: (08) 8341 1690
Where: 76 Lipson Street Port Adelaide SA 5015
Cost: See website
Your Comment
Golly gosh Dave. What a blockbuster list of railway events you have here. Do not think I ever recall seeing any articles on Weekendnotes with so many sections. From the looks of it you must have broken a record :)
by Yin-Yin Ow (score: 3|1596) 2089 days ago
http://youtu.be/PrA5PNaydT0 a video from one of their weekends
by 00007 (score: 1|15) 1939 days ago
Videos of events from National Railway Museumhttp://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdIjxc2lzmLrv2Hvyd5-GZVdXL_Wx_FwU
by 00007 (score: 1|15) 1878 days ago
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