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Sunday May 27 is the day to head for the hills - to Mount Barker railway station, the headquarters of SteamRanger Heritage Railways. The sometimes sleepy Adelaide Hills town of Mount Barker will come alive for a fabulous free open day, with loads of fun things to do and family entertainment at the Mount Barker railway station. It's another of the fantastic events in May for South Australia's History Festival.
This event will appeal particularly to railway enthusiasts, and what child doesn't like to see and ride on old trains? A previous SteamRanger open day attracted large crowds, and this year there will be even more exciting things to do.
You May See Steam Engine 621 Duke of Edinburgh at Mount Barker
Take a trip on heritage Red Hen railcar shuttle trains to Gemmells from Mount Barker station, with services operating at 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm. The fares are very reasonable ($15 Adults, $10 Children), and many people will remember with nostalgia how the Red Hens used to operate everywhere in the metropolitan area years ago.
Shorter rail trips in a section car will take you through the railway tunnel under the freeway to the Littlehampton Brickworks for only $2 per person. The section car is a compact motorised vehicle, once used to do track maintenance and transport railway workers between jobs at stations. They are partly enclosed but you can still experience the wind whistling past your ears as you speed along the railway line.
Take a Section Car Ride Through This Railway Tunnel
The Mount Barker Railway Station will be the focus of the family fun day, with plenty of free activities for kids on offer. Grab a snag from the BBQ, refreshments will be on sale and sit down to relax to the free live music. You'll find local Mount Barker radio station 88.9 FM Hills Radio broadcasting live to bring you more great entertainment at the open day, and don't miss the awesome classic car display by Adelaide Cruisin' Classics. If you're lucky you will find some amazing vintage American cars like you see everywhere in Cuba.
One of the highlights of Mount Barker railway station family fun day is at 12 noon: see South Australian champion strongman Jordan "Biggie" Steffans attempt to pull the monster steam locomotive 621, the Duke of Edinburgh. This will be the first time since 1996 this has been attempted in Australia - can he do it?
Another highlight, particularly for rail enthusiasts and trainspotters, are the guided tours of the SteamRanger workshops, where you can see old steam engines and rolling stock awaiting restoration. Talk to the volunteers, and see what working to keep SteamRanger's heritage railway alive is like.
Find all the details about Mount Barker Railway Station Family Fun Day on the SteamRanger website and their Facebook page.. Don't forget your jacket and beanie as the Adelaide Hills can get a bit nippy at this time of year, but you will have a wonderful time at the open day.