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“A Weekend in Peterborough South Australia”

Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: the Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre is a museum where people can sit in the historic carriages; enter the driver's cabins of the various locomotives and marvel at the rolling stock in the 1926 built roundhouse and admire the still functioning turntable what has all 3 gauges. Steamtown is ideal for families and is pet friendly also. Stay the night in Peterborough and attend the stunning sound and Light show that tells the story of the creation of Peterborough, about railways in South Australia and the history and personal stories associated with it and the linking of East Australia to West Australia
Reviewed August 22, 2012

A Weekend in Peterborough South Australia
As far as I know, there are two Peterborough’s in Australia, one is a small Victorian town, and the other is a larger town in the mid north of South Australia. (A good stopping off point for visits to The Flinders Ranges)
The town boasts good accommodation, Hotels, Motels, and Caravan Park.
In early steam days, Peterborough was a thriving railway town with a large population dependant on the railways for income.
Now sadly Peterborough is little more than a whistle stop for The Indian Pacific as it journeys from Sydney to Perth.
The local people have not let their steam heritage pass the town by.
Maybe the old narrow gauge rail lines in and out of the town have been cannibalised to recycle the old rails and ballast, but the Railway workshops and Roundhouse still live on thanks to a very committer band of volunteers.
We stayed over in Peterborough two nights in a very comfortable motel, dined at one of the pubs in the main street, and did quite a bit of sightseeing.
The Railway Sound and Light presentation was great. Make a booking, and meet in the Museum show room.
When all registered visitors had arrived, we were ushered past a few steam loco’s to a wonderfully heated railway carriage located on the turntable.
Soon four loco’s belching steam were illuminated, the show had just begun.
Sure, the show was only a movie on the beginnings of the rail network linking the mines at Broken Hill, the seaport smelters at Port Pirie, and the agricultural needs of the grain harvests, and in the centre of it all, the founding of Peterborough and the Railway workshops, but a history lesson was worthwhile.
So many folk have seen the show and are full of recommendations to others.
The following day we were guided close up and personal with the locomotive collection restored, and under restoration.
The volunteer group in the past have conducted in excess of three hundred guided tours per year, truly a tribute to that group.
Learning more of the Peterborough rail history and it’s connection to the nearby (Almost Ghost Town) Terowie, we drove over to walk the very long main street, and remnants of the railway station.
Terowie too was dependant on the railways due to the change of gauge here.
Broad gauge from Adelaide to Terowie, and narrow gauge Terowie on to Broken Hill, meant all passengers and freight had to be transhipped here. A two hour delay in the middle of the night, winter nights up here are no joy.
This rail stopover goes down in history during the Second World War.
Troop trains also had to wait while the transhipping process took place.
One of these times a very famous passenger alighted to mingle with the troops and town’s people.
Before he returned to his carriage, he made the famous statement, “I shall return”
Yep. None other than General McArthur.
That’s a little insight into the railway towns of Peterborough and Terowie, good places to visit, but perhaps give June July a miss. Unless you like frosty nights and mornings.

8  Thank pbroboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"sound and light show"
in 42 reviews
"guided tour"
in 19 reviews
"south australia"
in 14 reviews
"rolling stock"
in 9 reviews
"great museum"
in 5 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 8 reviews
"well worth the cost"
in 3 reviews
"round house"
in 5 reviews
"bygone days"
in 2 reviews
"broken hill"
in 4 reviews
"train buffs"
in 4 reviews
"font of knowledge"
in 2 reviews
"friendly lady"
in 2 reviews
"per head"
in 2 reviews
"minute tour"
in 2 reviews
"an excellent guide"
in 2 reviews
"steam train"
in 4 reviews

160 - 162 of 162 reviews

Reviewed April 6, 2012

credit to all concerned best thing to happen to Peterborough & area in 15 yrs well Done Horst & crew

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2010

Steamtown is the old railway workshops in Peterborough which has 3 different gauges of track and was the junction of the original Ghan.

We arrived here early on a Saturday and were initially the only people there. Started a guided tour and a number of others joined us during the tour. Everyone agreed this was a superb tour.

Tour guide (sorry can't remember your name) was really good and made the whole day, spent several hours on the tour and it seemed like only a few minutes. She set all the exhibits in context with anecdotes about most of them.

Peterborough is a bit off the tourist route and I really hope they can make a success of this as they deserve to make this successful.

Well worth spending a few hours at a very low cost.

3  Thank Chesndave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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