As a railfan, many of my memories revolve around endings. Naomi and I started to travel on steam train excursions when we were in our teens in the 1970s. Regular steam train services had finished and it was a time when many country railway lines were being closed and torn up. We went on many “Last Train To…” trips.
We used the Refreshment Rooms at places like Riverton and Bowman’s just one more time, We visited the towns of Moonta, Kadina and Wallaroo during the Kernewek Lowender, the Cornish Festival. We went to Loxton and Renmark and various little places that were little more than a platform and a sign. We had wonderful times. All those lines are closed now.
We also saw the end of various suburban branch lines, the line to Penfield with its loop, the line to the Holden factory, even the factory is gone now. It hit us hard when the passenger service to Bridgewater in the Adelaide hills ended. We used that one a lot and when the line from Glanville to Semaphore closed in 1978 that seemed even worse.
David worked in the old Adelaide rail yard for several years and eventually, we saw the building he worked in demolished to make way for an updated depot where Naomi and I worked a few years later. Now that too has gone, replaced by Adelaide’s new hospital.
My memories of rail in South Australia are both happy and sad.
*Note: Some of the photos I’ve used here are not mine but I needed them to tell the story. The others were taken by David when he worked in the old Adelaide Yard and on some trips. I can’t always remember who took what from those days as we were both photographing the same things although usually from different points of view. Generally speaking, if it has people in the foreground it will probably be mine and if it is in black and white more than likely his. These pictures were all scanned from photos so the quality is not great.