News articles and media releases

Thirty years ago the new standard gauge railway to Alice Springs was under construction. Foundation member Jeremy Browne, having organised the Peterborough Centenary Trips with T186 in 1976, was keen to do something special to mark the end of the old Ghan.

A plan was formulated to run the last narrow gauge Ghan as a steam hauled special. Powered by T class and NM class steam locomotives double-heading, the train would take four days for the Marree to Alice run, stopping overnight en-route. The narrow gauge Ghan would follow for meals and beds for 150 first class passengers, with tents for 100 economy class passengers.

Coffee Pot has been out of action now for a couple of years, and with some successes in moving the new boiler project forward, it is pleasing to report some progress.

A request for a commercial budget price for design and build of a new boiler resulted in a quote of $140,000.  As a result a decision has been made to attempt to do it for substantially less than that if at all possible.

From Friday April 11 to Saturday April 13 2008, Rundle Mall will be alive with the sights and sounds of steam, as South Australia’s Heritage Railways combine forces to bring a full sized steam engine into the Mall.

Noted Australian businessman Mr Dick Smith AO has recently donated $5,000 to the Society, to assist with the project to replace the Coffee Pot's boiler, which is currently underway. The Society has sent a formal letter of thanks to Mr Smith.

The latest donation follows on from an earlier donation of $3,000 made by Mr Smith while the Coffee Pot lottery was in progress during 2007.

The Coffee Pot Lottery, launched in April 2007, generated over $9,000.00 in ticket sales towards fundraising for a new boiler for the Coffee Pot.

The Coffee Pot is one of the most historic vehicles in Pichi Richi Railway's collection, a direct link with the early part of last century.  Design work and engineering certification is currently underway for the construction of an all-steel welded boiler.

First prize was a finely detailed model of the Coffee Pot, handmade by the late Pichi Richi Railway member Mr Geoff Horne.  These models are highly prized by collectors and train lovers, and this model was independently valued at $2,000.

A finely detailed model of the Coffee Pot is the first prize in the major lottery launched in April 2007 to raise help funds for a new boiler for the Coffee Pot.

Handmade by the late Pichi Richi Railway member Mr Geoff Horne, these models are highly prized by collectors and train lovers, and this model was recently independently valued at $2,000.

Hordes of photographers and onlookers are expected at Port Augusta at 10.30am Saturday 21 April 2007, when Pichi Richi Railway stages a recreation of a mixed Ghan, on the scheduled Afghan Express bound for Quorn.

This ABC Rural article describes the May 2006 trek along the Birdsville Track by the Governor-General, Major-General Michael Jeffery, and his party, and their visit to Quorn and the Pichi Richi Railway.