Friday, October 3, 2014

Cockle Train

Last weekend I took the Steamranger Cockle Train from Victor Harbor to Goolwa.

The trip (for me) started at Victor Harbor. I took a few photos of the station.

Just at the end of the platform are the only manually operated boom gates left in South Australia. 

A volunteer from Steamranger has to open these by hand each time a trains arrives into, or departs Victor Harbor station!

There is a small plaque in a rock on the other side of the road that explains about the gates.

Approaching the entrance to Victor Harbor station I get to see to information board for today's trips and times.

Unfortunately the fire service declared a total fire ban for today which meant that the expected steam train 621 was replaced by a heritage Diesel engine for today.

I went to the platform next to take a few shots before the train arrived from Goolwa.

The first view is towards the former goods shed, towards where the horse drawn tram starts.

Next is the opposite view towards the hills.

I then saw the boom gates being moved into position for the train to arrive!

Here comes the cockle train:

5 carriages on the train today - school holidays have started this past weekend so demand should be high, the train runs every day during the school holidays.

Next the Diesel engine needs to shunt to the back of the train for the return trip to Goolwa..

Ready for the final connection to the carriages:


The first green and cream carriage had a lovely white interior with more comfortable seating, so I picked this carriage for the trip over to Goolwa:

Some more photos from inside:

The views from the Cockle train are amazing as the train runs right next to the beach for some of the trip.

We soon arrived into Port Elliot station, a small town between Victor harbor and Goolwa.

View to the disused platform at Port Elliot

Middleton is a small town also on the route where the train stops on request. Never seen it stop here...

After a trip of 30 minutes we pull into the town of Goolwa and Goolwa Station.

While here at Goolwa I took a look around the station platform:

The former Goods shed at Goolwa is now a converted brewery:

The line beyond Goolwa goes via Strathlbyn to Mt Barker, a town in the Adelaide hills. Steamranger runs a number of services to/from Mt Barker also.

An information board covers the significance of this railway line, the very first railway line built in Australia!

Picture of the front of the station (craft shop in front):

For the trip back I choose the 1st class carriage:

Inside is quite different to the other carriage:

Some more photos of the scenery on the way back:

Once we returned to Victor Harbor I took some photos of the next train departure from the manual boom gates.

I definitely recommend traveling on the Cockle train while in Victor Harbor!

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