Cockle Train Operators Appeal for Support

June 15, 2023 12:09 pm in by
Image of collision on 14 June, supplied CFS

SteamRanger Heritage Railway is appealing for support after the beloved Cockle Train has been derailed twice in a matter of weeks.

The 10am Goolwa to Port Elliot service was involved in a major collision with a loaded truck at Petersen Road, Middleton, yesterday, Wednesday 14 June.

The single 1950s-built ‘Redhen’ Railcar, was derailed due to the impact while the truck also sustained serious damage.

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There were 14 passengers and 4 crew members on board the train at the time of the collision and while no major injuries were reported, the train driver and a young passenger were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

SAPOL, SAAS, CFS and SES crews have worked to clean the site of spilled diesel fuel and hydraulic fluid which leaked out onto the road.

Due to the damage to the railcar and track, all Cockle Train services between Goolwa and Port Elliot have been canceled until further notice.

SteamRanger Heritage Railway has also been working with the City of Victor Harbor and Keolis Downer to fix tracks and another Redhen Railcar from a prior rerailment on 20 May.

Operations Manager Peter Michalak is encouraging history and train enthusiasts to book the services they still have available.

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“While the Southern Encounter can’t go all the way to Victor Harbor at the moment, it can go to Goolwa, we’re trying to keep some income stream coming in…. so, please travel on our trains,” Peter Michalak said in a radio interview with Jennie Lenman and Adam Connelly this morning.

“We understand that we’re not going to Victor, we understand its a pretty bit of the train journey, but while we can, please help us out as we need all the help we can get at the moment”.

The SteamRanger Heritage Railway is the operating arm of the Australian Railway Historical Society and is is primarily staffed by a dedicated team of volunteers.

Hear more from the interview with Peter Michalak via the play window below:


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