News articles and media releases

The 3 level crossings in Pichi Richi Pass have recently been upgraded. They now have flashing lights and bells, which were commissioned in late October.

These crossings, where the Quorn to Stirling North road crosses the railway, have been on the "hit list" for some time.

The major extension and restoration project is about to commence.

Works include the full restoration of former Commonwealth Railways steam locomotive NM25, major earthworks at Stirling North, and extension of the Narrow Gauge line to the dock platform at Port Augusta station. Completion is anticipated for late 2001.

This is stage two of the project. Stage one, including rebuilding the track from Woolshed Flat to Stirling North, and restoration of four former Commonwealth Railways passenger carriages. Detailed information and progress updates are on the Projects page.

Triple-gauge turnout constructed by PRRPS (Photo: Andrew Thompson)

For most of the last decade Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society Inc. (PRRPS) has generated useful surpluses through the hiring of our track machinery to other railways including Zig Zag Railway, Australian National and BHP Co Ltd Whyalla. These surpluses have contributed to numerous projects around Quorn, including completion of the CWA Hut, the diesel annexe etc.

Earlier in the year, PRRPS was invited to tender a lump sum price for the provision of labour and equipment to construct six mixed-gauge turnouts at the Port Dock Museum site. The work was part of their $550,000 Commonwealth Railways Museum project funded by the Centenary of Federation.

The original South Australian Railways engine shed in Quorn, called the 'carbarn' for as long as most can remember, is finally undergoing some urgent structural repairs. Like most of the other buildings in the Quorn Station Yard area, its age is showing. Along with the Goods Shed this building is a large timber framed, iron-clad structure dating back to the 1880s. Built originally as a two-track engine shed measuring 50' long, it was extended to 100' long only a few years after construction. It certainly must have been a busy place 100 years ago with up to four SAR 'Moguls' on shed in the form of W or Wx, Y Class or even a 'Yankee X'!

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The SA Minister for Tourism announced on 29 May 2000 that Pichi Richi Railway has been allocated $500,000 funding in the 2000-01 State Budget. This will be part of a $1.2M funding package.

This, along with $1.3M previously pledged by the City of Port Augusta together with private sector sponsorship, will be used to complete Stage 2 of the PRR Development Project, once a number of issues have been resolved.

This will see the Pichi Richi Railway extended 7km from its current Stirling North terminus into Port Augusta Railway Station, along with carriage and locomotive restoration and infrastructure works.

The Quorn Stockyard Arena Association and Pichi Richi Railway ran the first Breaker Morant Trail Ride on Saturday 22 April 2000. Horses were loaded into restored cattle wagons which were added to the Afghan Express. Riders travelled by steam train to Stirling North, and then participated in a two-day trail ride back to Quorn, stopping overnight at Woolshed Flat.

Pichi Richi Railway's Afghan Express, introduced in 2000, enables passengers to travel from Quorn to Stirling North by rail for the first time in over 40 years. The journey takes passengers through the whole of the Pichi Richi Pass—including the most spectacular parts not previously experienced on other Pichi Richi Railway services.