If you're looking for something spectacular to do / watch this weekend, then why not make your way to Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills? Not only will you be surrounded by the lush beauty of the autumn season, but you will also get to experience an unforgettable event that is aptly named "Man vs Machine".
What's the event about?
South Australian Champion Strongman Jordan 'Biggie' Steffens, who holds prestigious titles such as "Professional Strongman", "SA Weightlifting Coach" and "Australia's Most Powerful Man", will be testing the 'Man vs Machine' by attempting to pull the SteamRanger Heritage Railway's 140-ton steam locomotive 621 named 'Duke of Edinburgh'. If there's anything to go by the amount of endless training that 'Biggie' has put towards this event in the last couple of months, it's shaping to be one of the most exciting events witnessed by locals and tourists in the Hills!
What's the driving force behind Biggie's motivation to undertake such a huge project? By participating in the Man vs Machine event, Biggie hopes to use this platform as a fundraiser, where all proceeds will go towards "the restoration of SteamRanger's 200-ton, 520 class steam locomotive". Once this locomotive has been restored, it will become "the largest non-articulated steam locomotive to operate in the Southern Hemisphere" - how exciting is that! Furthermore, this locomotive gained worldwide popularity after being featured as an Australian character in Thomas the Tank Engine - so this is a must-see for children and train lovers!
150,000 for construction, repairs, and overhaul expenses.
What's exciting about this event? Biggie's attempt to pull such a big-scale vehicle will be the first of its kind that will be attempted in Australia, since Grant Edwards' record in NSW in 1996.
In addition to watching this spectacular man wow the audience, there will be a stream of activities that will contribute towards a family-friendly affair; such as heritage Railcar shuttle trains to Gemmells at 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm, section car rides, classic car and ticket printing displays, and live music (to name a few).
When and where will the event be held? 27/05/2018, starting at 12pm at SteamRanger Heritage Railway's Mt. Barker Depot (off Dutton Road at Mt. Barker).
How else can I get involved / donate towards this fundraiser?
As the SteamRanger Heritage Railway is the operating arm of the Australian Railway Historical Society (SA Division) and works on a not-for-profit basis, there is a gofundme page that has been set up (and all donations above $2 are tax-deductible): https://ie.gofundme.com/loco-520-restoration-appeal
Where can I follow Biggie's journey? Connect with Biggie on his social media platforms: Facebook / Instagram