Part 7: September 2001

Former South Australian Railways locomotive T186 became the first narrow gauge locomotive to steam in to Port Augusta for over 30 years when it headed a train in to the station on Saturday 15 September.

Carriages from both the Commonwealth Railways and South Australian Railways were in the consist, partly as a dry run for the Centenary of Federation trains in October.

T186 and train passing through the NRG Flinders underpass at Stirling North, 15 September 2001
T186 in Port Augusta Station, 15 September 2001

The local Member of the South Australian Parliament, Hon Graham Gunn MP, South Australian Tourism Minister Hon Joan Hall MP and Port Augusta Mayor Joy Baluch officially opened the track extension from Stirling North to Port Augusta.

Hon Graham Gunn MP, Hon Joan Hall MP, and Mayor Joy Baluch unveil the plaque
The plaque erected to commemorate the opening

More work is still required before the track can be used, such as completing the ballasting and tamping, fitting out of the carriage/locomotive shed, and completion of the level crossing protection. Most of the work, with the possible exception of the level crossing protection, will be completed in time for the Centenary Of Federation celebrations on 22 October 2001.

T186 near Footner Road, returning to Quorn, 15 September 2001