The Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society (PRRPS) is a not-for-profit incorporated association formed in 1973 to preserve the railway through Pichi Richi Pass. This is the most scenic part of the Port Augusta and Government Gums Railway (the original Ghan railway begun in 1878) featuring deep rock cuttings, superb stone wall embankments, and spectacular iron bridges.
The Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society is administered under the Associations Incorporation Act 1985 (SA). PRRPS operates the Pichi Richi Railway as a Not-for-profit business [ABN 24 530 998 354].
The Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) and is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) from 1 July 2000. PRRPS is able to receive income tax-deductible gifts and tax-deductible contributions and is covered by Item 4 of the table in section 30-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.
PRRPS has progressively restored and operated the Pichi Richi Railway as a working museum. PRRPS has also preserved a large collection of historic locomotives, and goods and passenger vehicles, restoring many to working order.
Volunteers are crucial to the ongoing viability of the railway. You can help preserve an important part of Australia's heritage by becoming a member of PRRPS. Visit the volunteering page for more information on how you can help.
The Patron of the Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society is Mr. John Fullerton.
John has 40 years of experience in the rail and transport industry across Australia and has held Senior Executive and Board Member positions in both the private and public sectors. John was born in Port Augusta and after leaving school he worked with BHP in Whyalla where he graduated as an electrical engineer.
He is the former CEO and Managing Director of the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and retired in May 2020 after nearly 10 years in the role. At ARTC, John led the $6.5 billion upgrade and expansion of the Hunter Valley coal network and the interstate rail freight network as well as oversight of the planning and commencement of construction in 2019 of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project.
John’s previous role was as CEO of FreightLink, the owner and operator of the Adelaide to Darwin railway and he has held senior executive roles at Pacific National, National Rail Corporation, and Australian National. John has also been involved in various other rail-based institutions including as non-executive director of the Australasian Railway Association (ARA), chair of Rail CRC Ltd, non-executive director of Tasmanian Railway Pty Ltd, and non-executive director of the Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board Ltd (RISSB).
In June 2020 John was appointed by the Deputy Prime Minister as chair of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy Industry Reference Panel.
The Ambassador of the Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society is Mr. Brenton Ragless.
Brenton Ragless is a South Australian TV news anchor for Nine’s 6 pm bulletin in Adelaide and a long-standing enthusiast and supporter of heritage railways. Brenton and his family live in Adelaide and have been members of PRR since June 2007.
His passion for the railways began as a child growing up in Eden Hills, seeing SteamRanger’s locos take on water at Blackwood before they marched on through the Mount Lofty Ranges. That love of steam eventually led Brenton to get his boiler ticket with the National Railway Museum, where he drives the little engines at Port Adelaide and along the Semaphore Coast.
He sees his role as PRR Ambassador to help champion the cause of live steam in South Australia, with the hope that his involvement will encourage the interest of others for decades to come.
Prior to starting with Nine as Weather Presenter in 2008, Brenton was a media spokesperson for the SA Country Fire Service, Fire and Emergencies reporter for ABC radio, and announcer on 1079 Life.
In 1998, Brenton graduated from a Diploma of Business in Tourism – which led to casual work as a driver/tour guide for Grayline – and in 2007, a Master’s Degree in Communication at UniSA.