Alt banner image

Authentic heritage railway operating in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges

Authentic heritage railway operating in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges

In partnership with Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society.

Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society, based in Quorn and nestled in the Flinders Ranges, was established in 1973 by a group of enthusiasts who appreciated the historic significance of the dry-stone walls and heritage bridges built in the late 1870s. This part of Port Augusta and Government Gums Railway became the original Ghan line, intended to go through Alice Springs to Darwin and link Australia from the south to the north. 

This narrow-gauge line was built to Government Gums (now Farina), extended to Hergott Springs (now Marree) and Oodnadatta, before reaching Alice Springs in 1926. 

In its heyday, Quorn was an important railway town and busy commerce centre enabling movement of stock, goods, and people to and from remote and distant places. It became the crossroads for rail traffic from north to south, and from east to west Australia.

In the 1950s, when the Port Augusta power stations needed more coal, a replacement line was built to the west of the Flinders Ranges, replacing the original line to Marree. 

In 1956, the last Ghan travelled through the Pichi Richi Pass and the line became redundant. 

In Port Augusta on 22 July 1973, Keith Smith (Commissioner, Commonwealth Railways) convened a meeting and Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society (PRRPS) was formed to ensure the dry-stone walls and bridges were not demolished. 

In 1974, PRRPS started acquiring locomotives and rolling stock for use on the original line running between Quorn and Port Augusta.

Today, this iconic 2021 SA Tourism Award–winning heritage railway operates a range of steam and diesel-hauled passenger services between March and November, carrying approximately 10,000 passengers annually. 

Pichi Richi Railway is a not-for-profit organisation that is totally run by volunteers who continue to restore, maintain and keep the region’s rail heritage alive. 

To book tickets or to learn more, visit www.pichirichirailway.org.au.

Image by Maikha Ly.

Join our mailing list