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Tailem Bend Railway Station & Museum

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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Published February 5th 2013
Can I ride the steam engine?

tailem bend, tourist information for, the railway museum, tailem old town, railway steam engines
Tailem Bend Railways Station & Museum


Before visiting Old Tailem Town to write about it recently, I decided to call in to the Visitor Information Centre and get tourist information for the area.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Visitor Information Centre is actually located in the original Tailem Bend Railway Station.

The railway station is in excellent condition, having been carefully and authentically restored by volunteers in 2005.

Given that the station will celebrate its centenary this year, the local people have done a splendid job of capitalising on this quirky building which has been the hub of the town for so long.

tailem bend, tourist information for, the railway museum, tailem old town, railway steam engines
Plentiful Tourist Information for the Region


The restored building is now a comprehensive Visitor Information Centre staffed by volunteers, with the added convenience of a free internet hotspot powered by Internode.

Nearby one of the original railway steam engines that entered service in 1913 is on display in a well maintained park.

On entering the building I discovered that it also houses a railway museum with a fascinating range of rail memorabilia that would bring tears to the eyes of a true trainspotter. Clean and carefully curated displays are plentiful.

tailem bend, tourist information for, the railway museum, tailem old town, railway steam engines
Signal Cabin Levers


The original signal cabin levers are still in place, looking ready to swing into action even now if needed.

tailem bend, tourist information for, the railway museum, tailem old town, railway steam engines
Photograph of an Early Steam Engine


tailem bend, tourist information for, the railway museum, tailem old town, railway steam engines
Hand Written Ticket Sales Records from 1981


The building is positively packed with exhibits with photographs of old trains and hand written records of station activities over the years.

tailem bend, tourist information for, the railway museum, tailem old town, railway steam engines
Arcane Railway Equipment


A helpful volunteer showed us around old telephones, and arcane equipment that only a railway buff would understand.

tailem bend, tourist information for, the railway museum, tailem old town, railway steam engines
The Railway Museum and its Train Memorabilia


Unfortunately the Overland train no longer stops at Tailem Bend, so for safety reasons the platform is fenced off where the train charges through.

tailem bend, tourist information for, the railway museum, tailem old town, railway steam engines
Platform Side of Tailem Bend Station


But this station (and its companion RX 201 steam engine) soldiers on towards their centenary in October. The town is already planning the celebrations, and a website is now under development.

tailem bend, tourist information for, the railway museum, tailem old town, railway steam engines
RX 201 Steam Engine


Many people will look forward to the historic anniversary, coincidentally the same year the National Railway Museum celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The fact that the Tailem Bend Railway Station is now enjoying a second life, and a new purpose is good news for rail enthusiasts and the town itself.

Here's to the next 100 years!
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Why? It's worth a visit
When: 10am - 4pm except Christmas day and Good Friday
Phone: (08) 8572 4277
Where: 87-89 Railway Tce Tailem Bend SA 5260
Cost: Free, but donations welcome
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