Trains to run in Naracoorte again... at the Sheep's Back Museum

MODELLERS: Members of the South Australian Railway Modellers Club Len Redway, John Gordon Graham Phillip and Hugh Williams helped to reassemble the model railway at the museum
MODELLERS: Members of the South Australian Railway Modellers Club Len Redway, John Gordon Graham Phillip and Hugh Williams helped to reassemble the model railway at the museum

Naracoorte will relive its once splendid rail history - on a much smaller scale.

The Sheep's Back Museum has recently installed a large model railway depicting the rail corridors of Naracoorte, Kingston and Mt Gambier.

Painstakingly built by former Naracoorte man Lindsay Baker over many years, the model recreates the landscape of the towns from many moons ago.

Museum volunteer John Stafford said the railway was donated after Mr Baker moved into a nursing home.

"Lindsay used to live in Naracoorte and married a woman from Naracoorte, but moved to Adelaide," he said.

"When he was in Adelaide, he got interested in model trains, so he built this model which covers the three major Southeastern terminals- he started with Naracoorte and then expanded a bit to cover Kingston and Mount Gambier.

"He moved into a nursing home and wanted us to have it, so his son offered it to us. He sadly passed away last week, so he will not be able to come up here and see it set up here, which is a pity."

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In order to transport the model railway from Adelaide, members of the South Australian Railway Modellers Association had to cut it into pieces, and then carefully reassemble it at the other end.

It was hard work, with every piece having to be photographed, pulled apart carefully and then reconstructed exactly as it was.

The team of four, as well as four locals, worked for almost a week to put the railway back together, and the club will return in two weeks to add the finishing touches.

"They have been a really big help," Mr Stafford said.

"It is all together, but it is not running at the moment - we are trying to get it put in so that one engine runs up and down at the press of a button, but that system is not working yet.

"It's pretty close to finished - there is some finishing off around the outside to do, so we are not sure exactly when it will be open, but it will be the near future."

He said it was great to be able to keep a part of Naracoorte's railway history alive.

"Naracoorte was a junction railway town and the railway was very important to Naracoorte in those times, it provided as lot of employment to Naracoorte too," he said.

"It is an important thing to have some commemoration of the railways."

You can see the model railway at the Sheep's Back Museum at 36 Macdonnell St, Naracoorte.