Coffee Pot
The Coffee Pot on Pichi Richi Railway. Photo: Arnold Krueger. 

Railway Preservation Society turns 50

One of Australia’s most loved heritage railways is steaming up and preparing to celebrate its 50th Anniversary. Operated totally by volunteers, who are committed to the conservation, restoration, maintenance and running the authentic heritage Pichi Richi Railway.

Half a century ago, on July 22, 1973, at a public meeting in Port Augusta’s Cooinda Hall, Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society was established with the objectives of preserving the historic dry-stone walls and the railway bridges along the original 1800s railway, which includes a section of the original Ghan line.

Over the past 50 years the PRR in Quorn has become a key tourist destination in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia and in 2021 Pichi Richi Railway was awarded the Winner of the SA Tourism Award for Tourist Attraction.

On Saturday 22 July and open to the public, showing just after sunset, will be a short movie premiering on the Quorn Silo Light Show showing some of the history and wonderful volunteering achievements of Pichi Richi Railway.

PRRPS will be hosting an Anniversary Dinner to which their Foundation, Honorary Life Members and current members, as well as a small number of VIPs, and corporate supporters, have been invited.

In 2024 Pichi Richi Railway will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Society’s FIRST train which ran on part of the volunteer-restored “Old Ghan” line.  The restored section of old narrow gauge Central Australia Railway between Quorn and Summit and the line was reopened by Sir Mark Oliphant in 1974. This exciting anniversary event will be open to the public and widely publicised as further details become available.

Pichi Richi Railway has been completely and continually run by volunteers for 50 years and their contribution to heritage rail and South Australia’s regional tourism deserves to be recognised.



Afghan Express at Quorn, Pichi Richi Railway SA

Afghan Express at Quorn, Pichi Richi Railway SA © Grant Robinson