The last operating engine of its kind in the world, the Pichi Richi Railway’s iconic "Coffee Pot", is building up steam for a return to the rails.

Following a successful test run over Easter, an old favourite is set to return to South Australia’s Pichi Richi Railway within the next 12 months.

Steam Motor Coach No. 1, affectionately known as the "Coffee Pot", undertook the first of a series of trial runs on 5 and 6 April 2015.

Late in the afternoon of Easter Sunday, a shrill whistle resounded over Quorn as Steam Motor Coach No. 1 moved around the Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society’s Locomotive Depot under its own steam for the first time in eight years.

With positive preliminary results, the engine was given the green light to venture out onto the mainline for further testing on Monday 6 April 2015.

The engine performed well—much to the delight of all present at this important milestone.

"While there are still more tests to be completed, we’re really pleased to be another step closer to getting this grand old lady back on track", said Locomotive Superintendent, David Heah.

"Our team of volunteers has worked tirelessly to reassemble the diminutive engine, after detailed boiler examination and other minor works to the engine unit".

Built in England in 1905, Steam Motor Coach No. 1 is the only operating machine of its kind in the world. It served the Great Northern line (which became the Central Australia Railway from 1926) between the outback towns of Quorn and Hawker from 1906 until 1932.

Restored to working order by the Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society in 1984, the "Coffee Pot" will be fondly remembered by many South Australians who travelled on the Pichi Richi Railway during the '80s, '90s and early 2000s.

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Read more about the history of Steam Motor Coach No. 1 here