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The Australind Goes Platinum at the South West Rail and Heritage Centre

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It's a bird, It's a plane, It's a train
The Australind Goes Platinum at the South West Rail and Heritage Centre
The original train was superseded in 1987 by the 'train that thinks it's a plane' heralding a new era of travel. Photo is from a framed poster presented to Burekup Primary School by Brian Burke, Premier of WA, in recognition of the new train service on November 5, 1987.

The South West Rail and Heritage Centre, situated in Turner Street in Boyanup is holding a celebratory event 'The Australind Goes Platinum', acknowledging the Australind, and its 70 years of service on Sunday, November 26 from 10:00am to 2:00pm.

To reignite old memories and to inform younger ones, there will be displays showing the Australind train in all of its iterations, the various railway stations along the line including contributed stories from those who have travelled in the Australind, both in days long gone and more recently.

November 24, 1947 saw the first journey of the Australind train, taking passengers from Perth to Bunbury. Thus, began a service that has provided a mode of transport between the South West and Perth for the past 70 years.

The Australind Goes Platinum at the South West Rail and Heritage Centre
Farewell: The last locomotive hauled Australind train (Photo courtesy Rail Heritage WA).

The original Australind which began service in 1947 was replaced by ADP/ADQ class railcars in 1987. The train has always travelled along the South West Main Line, which runs adjacent to the South Western Highway, servicing the inland towns such as Pinjarra, Waroona, Harvey and Brunswick Junction and smaller localities between.

The Australind Goes Platinum at the South West Rail and Heritage Centre
The diesel hauled Australind operating along the South West Mail Line (Photo courtesy Rail Heritage WA).

The Australind has proven to be a great connection between the South West and the metropolitan area, with some of the South West residents using the service to enable them to work in Perth but live in the country.

The Australind Goes Platinum at the South West Rail and Heritage Centre
Hostess greeting passengers about to board the 'Australind' (Photo courtesy Rail Heritage WA).

Originally pulled by steam and diesel, the original train boasted a buffet car and hostesses who cared for the passengers in style. The Australind has seen several changes, as advances in technology provided faster and more comfortable travel.

Even though progress has assisted in modernising the service, many people still remember fondly, the 'old' Australind with its hostesses, ticket collectors and the distinctive blue and white buffet cars.

Now replaced by the more modern rail cars, the Australind still boasts a dedicated crew of attendants to care for passengers. A small galley that serves refreshments to passengers, now replaces the buffet car.

The Australind Goes Platinum at the South West Rail and Heritage Centre
Australind Scenic 2004, shows the Australind in its purple livery (Photo Courtesy Transwa).

Community participation

In addition to models of the new and the old Australind train, subject to Rail Heritage WA's accreditation, it is hoped that an original Australind buffet car will be on display. Moreover, there will be stories and memories contributed by the community, children's activities, and lots more to see and do.

This will be complemented by an art competition with entries from schools along the route, and a photographic competition for seniors depicting the towns and countryside along the Australind train's route.

With generous sponsorship provided by the Shire of Capel, Meadowbrooke Lifestyle Estate, Transwa, Rail Heritage WA, Pan Pacific, the Hyatt Regency and Gingerbread House, this event promises to offer a 'snapshot' of the life and times of the Australind train service. Also, with recent announcements indicating that the service is set for significant improvements, it is anticipated that the Australind will continue its work ferrying people between the South West and the metropolitan area for many more years.

Look what else is going on

The blacksmiths, vintage machinery, model railway and Men's Shed will all be in operation as usual, and not to be missed.

The Picnic Van and Sausage Sizzle

Enjoy light refreshments served in the 'Picnic Van', a converted guard's van. Toasted sandwiches, cakes, ice creams, cold drinks, tea and coffee will be available, plus the popular sausage sizzle.

Fun for the kids

The children will love a ride on the 'parent powered' merry-go-round, made from recycled materials, and other activities.

For your convenience

Toilet facilities are available, including a toilet suitable for people with a disability. There is plenty of parking, just follow the signs to find your convenient parking spot.

Destination details

The South West Rail and Heritage Centre is located in Turner Street Boyanup, an accessible day trip from Perth, and well worth the experience, is open from 10:00am to 2:00pm. For more information, please contact Norm Chapple on swrhc@railheritagewa.org.au or call 0459 712 552. You may also find this website and their Facebook page helpful, and entry is by donation.

Photos are from the SWRHC collection unless otherwise noted. Artwork by John F.




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Why? Love trains and all things connected, then this is your stop
When: Sunday, November 26, 2017 from 10:00am to 2:00pm
Phone: Contact Norm Chapple on swrhc@railheritagewa.org.au or call 0459 712 552
Where: Rail Centre, 33 Turner St, Boyanup WA 6237
Cost: Entry by donation
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