Large Scale Central

SteamRanger [was: a Rail Fest in South Australia 2024]

Attention K-Mart Shoppers…


I just happened to be in the neighbourhood today and was surprised to see the Steam Ranger group had pulled 3 engines out for the winter season and were heating them up for tomorrow’s runs.

It’s the start of broad gauge steam-fest season in South Australia.

Good thing Herself likes pretty engines, and getting soot in her hair. The workshops will be open for inspection.

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The SteamRanger Heritage Railway is a well-known heritage railway operating in South Australia, primarily run by volunteers. Here’s a brief history and overview:


The SteamRanger Heritage Railway’s origins date back to the early preservation efforts in the 1970s when rail enthusiasts sought to preserve steam rail operations. Initially part of the South Australian Railways, the services were taken over by the Australian Railway Historical Society (SA Division) in 1986. The railway became known as SteamRanger, dedicated to maintaining and operating heritage steam and diesel locomotives on scenic routes.


SteamRanger operates on the historic Victor Harbor railway line. Its primary route stretches from Mount Barker to Victor Harbor, traversing picturesque landscapes including the Adelaide Hills and the Fleurieu Peninsula. Key stops include:

  1. Mount Barker: Starting point, located in the Adelaide Hills.
  2. Strathalbyn: A charming town known for its historic buildings.
  3. Goolwa: A port town near the Murray River.
  4. Port Elliot: A coastal town with scenic ocean views.
  5. Victor Harbor: The southern terminus, a popular tourist destination.

Steam Locomotives

SteamRanger boasts an impressive collection of broad gauge steam locomotives, including:

  1. Rx Class Locomotives: These 4-6-0 steam engines were built between 1913 and 1926 and have been a mainstay of SteamRanger’s operations. Notable units include Rx 207 and Rx 224.

  2. 621 “Duke of Edinburgh”: A standout locomotive, this 4-6-2 “Pacific” type was built in 1936 and named in honor of the Duke of Edinburgh.

  3. F Class Locomotives: Smaller shunting engines used occasionally for special duties.

  4. SteamRanger also operates a variety of vintage diesel locomotives during fire season (most of the year) and has a number heritage carriages.

So it was a nice little diversion today on the Steam Ranger “shuttle”. Basically it was a test run with passengers. Our train had two steam engines and a diesel for the run to ensure that if the steam gave out there would still be transport back.

The workshops were open as well today, so the public could see the restoration work and progress.


Before Dave’s FRA thread, I was told one time that bridges and tunnels were the bane of every railroad.

Just in case any narrow gaugers were thinking to broaden their experience I thought I better forward this information :information_source:. According to the Southern Encounter Update the long trip will be off the travel list for a while due to bridge repairs.