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Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre

Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre

1 Telford Ave
Peterborough, South Australia, SA

Phone: (08) 8651 3355

Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre

Visitors can relive the glorious days of the Australian Railways in STEAMTOWN PETERBOROUGH in the Southern Flinders Ranges where Australia’s most unique Rail Heritage Centre is located. The Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre was one of the main sites for railway maintenance, repairs and a major rail-transport hub in South Australia in its heydays with over 100 trains passing through each day and employing over 1000 people.

NEW: South Australia’s first and only Sound & Light Show!
The Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre is a “Museum with a big difference” showing the most awesome Sound & Light Show, the first and only in South Australia. This magic visual light and sound spectacle is presented after dark, while sitting comfortably in a 1916 historic rail carriage, now converted into a viewing car. Once placed onto the 85foot long 3 gauge turntable visitors can watch this stunning and ‘vibrating’ 1.5 hour sound and light spectacle with the magically illuminated 23 bay Round house as a backdrop. This will be an unforgettable experience not to be missed! The stunning sound and light show tells the story of the creation of Peterborough, about the Railways in South Australia and the history and personal stories associated with it. Relive the famous visit of General McArthur in 1942 when he delivered the famous phrase “I shall return” from the platform in Terowie. Relive and learn about the first terrorist attack on Australian soil or the big train accident of Walloway Through this awesome sound and light spectacle you will actually experience parts of the last two centuries and become part of it! Early booking is strongly recommended!

On our daily personally guided 1.5 hour tours you can get close to historic locomotives, trains, carriages and numerous freight vehicles. You can still feel the glamour of the roaring twenties, travelling 1st Class through the Nullabor in the opulent 1923 First Class Lounge car. It’s easy to visualize how passengers were entertained; enjoying themselves with a piano on board, sipping a drink and relaxing in the comfortable red leather arm chairs. Climb into the cabin of one of the steam locomotives and you may still smell the coal, sweat or the burning fire and heat from when these magic steam titans were running under full steam. With bit of imagination you may still hear a new born baby crying in the baby health car, which visited outback and rural South Australia to give medical advice and help to mothers and their children living on remote farms. Walking through the original workshops and looking at all the heavy tools and machinery still around, you may imagine the sound of hammering, welding and the squeaky noise of a moving crane. It’s easy to relive the comfort travelers enjoyed in the First class twinette sleeping car travelling on the Trans Continental line as well as on the Ghan to Alice Springs. You may even still hear the rattling of tea and coffee cups from when breakfast was served together with the news paper in each twinette compartment. The original railway tracks with the three gauges (5’3” Broad, 4’8½” Standard and 3’6” Narrow) that were used in Australia leading to the large still working turntable are quite visual in front of the 23 bay heritage listed Roundhouse the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere. For car drivers it’s a strange feeling to look at the 1937 Morris MIC automobile converted to rail, and equipped with railway wheels but without any steering wheel. At the end of the tour you can explore our Museum with plenty of old railway memorabilia.

In the Steamtown Café you can sit and relax to explore the many Railway related exhibits, souvenirs, books, and retail items and read about Peterborough’s Railways history.

Steam Town Heritage Rail Centre opening Hours 09.00am till 5.00pm with the last guided tour commencing at 3.00pm
Sound and Light Show presentations:
After dark, exact timing depends on time of the year. Please enquire beforehand to find the exact time. (early booking is strongly recommended).