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Talking about steam trains always brings out nostalgic memories from those old enough to remember them, while younger people get excited about the chance to see one in operation for themselves. It wasn't that long ago that you could find them in the metropolitan area regularly - people would follow the steam train network from Adelaide through the suburbs as recently as 1995, taking photos of them as they thundered and whistled to destinations such as Blackwood. Nowadays steam engines are isolated from the main standard gauge rail network, operating only from SteamRanger's broad gauge heritage railway at Mount Barker station, south of Adelaide. On the weekend of May 25-26 SteamRanger will be holding its FREE annual Steam Festival at Mount Barker, giving everyone the chance to get up close and admire these magnificent engines and even take a trip on a steam train railway.
Steam engine no 621 The Duke of Edinburgh, built in 1936 will be making the 50 minute return trip to Bugle Ranges three times on Saturday and four times on Sunday, pulling a train of wooden passenger cars. On the return journey diesel loco 958 (built for the South Australian Railways in 1965) will pull the carriages back as there is no space for the steam engine to turn.

If a steam train is too loud for you, then take a shorter ride in a Section Car to Cameron Road and back for only $2 per person.
After you have ridden the train there will be plenty of other things to entertain you and the kids - free bouncy castles, model train displays, art displays, and a BBQ with drinks on sale to feed the hungry crowds. A special highlight will be the opportunity to take a guided tour (gold coin donation optional) inside the SteamRanger workshops where there is a large fleet of locomotives and carriages of all types.
The proceeds from the Steam Festival will help SteamRanger fund urgently needed repairs and restoration work for their locos - without this income you will no longer see steam trains in SA, so tell your friends and encourage them to come too!
Don't miss this wonderful chance to re-live a part of South Australia's railway history - the kids will be thrilled at the Festival of Steam, and so will you! WeekendNotes will notify you of the best free community events, concerts, exhibitions, cinema, festivals, and markets in your town or city.

Desktop users: right click on the image and choose "save image as" or "set as desktop background". The Blackwood Station still has reminders of steam locos from those days gone by - find out more in this article. This will be an excellent opportunity to see parts of the Adelaide Hills in a very special way.

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