Before trucks and utes were in common use, there were seven hundred light railways in South Australia. They performed the roles which were later taken over by trucks. Most harbours had a jetty tramway to move goods between ship and shore. Construction sites, mines, quarries, salt pans, wineries, brickworks and many other industries used a light railway. Today there are only nine remaining, seven amusement railways plus two still used in industry.
The South Australian Light Railway Centre was established to tell the story of South Australia’s light railways. It includes:
- Storyboards describing each type of railway
- The Fordson jetty tractor which operated at Port Price
- The 1938 Ruston Hornsby diesel locomotive which moved gypsum at Stenhouse Bay
- The battery locomotive and wagons used to move explosives at Smithfield
- A 1927 Fowler steam locomotive from Mackay.
- A pushbutton operated model railway
- Tipping, Cordite and Munitions wagons
- Track worker’s vehicles including a track tricycle which you can ride on.
- A full size steam locomotive driving simulator