Page 1 of 1

Steamranger in dire straights

Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 3:47 pm
by Will409
I know that it isn't quite Adelaide directed although Mt Barker (home base for Steamranger) is in the southern tip of the suburbs. Anyway, the section of track between Mt Barker and Strathalbyn looks set to close unless a HUGE amount of funds is secured for resleepering.

I know it may not exactly be related to much but I personally think it is a major draw card to the hills and if this line closes, you won't be able to take a train to Victor Harbour any more.
Steamranger website wrote: An Appeal from the President
EMERGENCY! Save the Line!

SteamRanger is in dire danger of losing the
Mount Barker - Strathalbyn railway!

This scenic stretch of railway needs 9,000 new sleepers to keep it open for passenger trains on an ongoing basis!

The steep grades, high embankments and sharp curves dictate that it be maintained in top condition. It is now 17 years since the last upgrade and old sleepers not replaced at that time have passed their use by date. These old ones are now 40 to 45 years old and cannot be relied on to hold gauge any longer. Bearing in mind that a really top grade timber sleeper only has a life of 25 to 35 years this puts the whole matter in perspective.

Unfortunately, due to a series of adverse circumstances, Steam Ranger's finances have been drained to the extent that we have no money left for this essential work. Passenger trains have not been able to operate on this railway since July 2006 and that also has seriously reduced our income. If we don't commence the task now it is likely that trains will not operate on this section ever again! There is little value in doing a limited band aid job because heavy work will then be necessary a short time later even with ultra slow speed limits.

What are some of the consequences of losing this corridor?
* No more "Southern Encounter" trains from Mount Barker to Victor Harbor
* No more popular "Highlander" trains to Strathalbyn
* Mount Barker Loco and Carriage maintenance depot will be isolated
* No need for large power locomotives - engine 621 "Duke of Edinburgh" would not work again
* It is doubtful that the "Cockle Train" from Goolwa to Victor harbor would be viable on its own

To this point of time we have not been able to secure funding from either the State Government who are the owners of the line or the Commonwealth. So if we want to save the line, we need to raise the money amongst ourselves. After all SteamRanger members and supporters are more interested in saving the line than anyone else. Ideally we should be aiming for $1 million plus but could get by for a few years with somewhat less. Donations are Tax deductible.

A wonderful offer has been received! Past SteamRanger Director Dean Harvey OAM has set us a challenge with a mighty big incentive. Dean is prepared to donate $100,000 out of his own pocket IF we raise $600,000 in other donations. Now it is time that the rest of us stood up to be counted. We may never get a chance as good as this again, so friends please dig deep into your resources to meet this challenge. Together we can achieve this! The future of SteamRanger, as we know it, is at stake here.

Please give your largest possible donation consideration now!
Here is a link to a video of the very last steam hauled train over the section at Philcox Hill. I don't want to see this lost.