Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 8 Sunday 17th

It was a grey and drear day.

I think it was about 2001 when I last heard rain on the roof. We do not hear the rain fall on the Highrise roof. But Sunday morning in Adelaide, that is what I heard. It was nice actually, although how it would impact on our day if it continued was problematic.

Ever the mapper and planner, I had worked out our route to the the National Rail Museum and the Adelaide Tram Museum perfectly. Perfect plans and real life do not always match.

By the time we got to the National Rail Museum the rain had cleared, but by golly it was cold in those train sheds. It was school holidays, still, and Thomas the Tank Engine was a feature for the weekend. They certainly breed well in Adelaide. There were hundreds of the snotty nosed there, in spite of the crook weather. There was a strolling minstrel to entertain and a band as well and a magician and other things for the kiddies. Busy enough on the dour weather day. I can only imagine what it would have been like if the weather was good.

The actual trains don't interest me much. I don't want to pull levers and stoke coal, but the history and their place and effect on society does.

The museum is in Port Adelaide, a very historic part of greater Adelaide. I could could see historical buildings, but there was no life. It reminded me a bit of Broken Hill. What a history, but what is its place in the 21st century?

We found the local shopping centre that had all the atmosphere of a morgue and found one shop open, apart from the almost empty department stores, where be bought lunch and coffee.

The perfect planner and mapper got us over a bridge and onto a freeway in the direction of the tram museum. I then lost it. There is the A13, that is what we want. No, it was the A1 we wanted. But I turned off onto the A13 and headed back towards the city. I realised my mistake and went off on a side road to get back onto the main road. We ended up in some industrial area where roads were being reconstructed. Eventually I pulled into a factory and got out into the drizzling rain and pin pointed our location on my phone. We were somewhere in Regency Park. The rain got heavier and the sky darkened. I think you could say we were officially lost. I had lost my sense of direction entirely. The phone compass facility in relation to the phone map and where we were made no sense to me. If it was me on my own, not such a problem, but R trusts me with getting us to places, and I had screwed up badly. 'You told me we just had to go to the end of the road and deviate left onto the A1'. So I did. I wished I had remembered that.

We stopped and started as we checked our location and maps, and then it was all right.

With no confidence, I said we will see a sign to the tram museum at St Kilda on the left as we travel along Port Wakefield Road. We did.

The tram museum was very good. Unlike the National Rail Museum, you could get in all the trams, poke around, and while we were still doing so, a chap came up and asked if we wanted to do the tram ride.

We hopped on board the Sydney R1 class tram and away we went. There wasn't a lot to see with lagoons to the right and a salt farm to the left, but the trip was long enough, about a kilometre to a park and then back again.

The next tram to take the trip was to be the old Adelaide tram, but one trip was enough. Had we have not got lost, we could have taken a trip on a old Melbourne tram, but they are still running back in Melbourne and not a novelty for us. We had look at some other vehicles and headed back home.

We bought some pies in Glenelg and reheated them in our oven and had them with some vegetables for dinner.

Footnote, the National Rail Museum is a federally funded organisation. The tram museum is volunteer and fund raising funded. I think this gives the tram museum an edge in the 'customer experience' area.

Pics, not too many. I know Copperwitch hates old train photos.

And a backtrack for Dina. Do not believe all Australian's use air con when they mean heating, but as our old oil and subsequent gas heaters, and hole in the wall air conditioners are being replaced by reverse cycle air conditioning units, that is they heat and cool, I feel it is time to just use air con to describe heating or cooling. I am out on a limb using the word to describe both but as you did, it can be worked out it in context. One degree sounds cold, whether you are Fahrenheit or Celsius.

The Overland, which ran between Adelaide and Melbourne.

This fearsome beast was huge.

The Barossa Wine Train. This carriage was called Merlot. Another Chardonnay and I forget the other one that made up the set. I assume it ran rail tours through the wine area of the Barossa Valley. Interesting concept, but clearly something went wrong along the way for the the train to be in the museum.

A retired diesel electric that slogged back and forth across the Nullabour Plain between Port Augusta and Perth.

The interior of this carriage looked classy. Would you believe the name on the bottle? Mardi Gras! 'Is Mardi Gras to Sir's liking?'

The St Kilda tram ride is rather different to the Melbourne version. No, we weren't tipping off the embankment into a lagoon.

The outside of our tram, a Sydney R1 class I believe. It probably retired from service in about 1960 but it looks so modern next to the just to be seen old Melbourne tram which kept right on running until about 1990. One interesting titbit, Sydney trams never used route numbers, instead a combination of written destinations, coloured symbols and at night, coloured lights.

The other tram being used for the day was an old old Adelaide tram.

Adelaide had an extensive tram system, mostly removed by the 1960s. Removing the lines in 1960.

Putting them back in the 2000s. There is a lesson in there somewhere.

I love old Deco train posters.

This was our last chance to walk the beach as tomorrow we will be up early and get back after it is dark.

Later edit: By special request, the Bluebird.


  1. Oh my gosh. I've always thought train spotters were a bit loopy but now I have to out myself as a tramspotter! Darn.

  2. Hello Andrew:
    An interesting day, certainly, but possibly not one of the best. The Train Museum does sound to have been a little disappointing, made up for, to some extent, by the one for trams.

  3. That blue and silver one reminds me of the blue and silver train that tooks us from Adelaide to Port Pirie in the late 1950's. It was called the "Bluebird".

  4. FC, lol, just wait until you can slip it in somewhere and show your knowledge.

    JayLa, yeah, some days are memorable and some days are just good. Such is travel.

    Edited River, now showing the Bluebird.

  5. "Is Mardi Gras to Sirs liking?" bwah ha haaaaaaaaaaaa

    great photos and thanks for sharing.

  6. Damn shame about the Barossa wine train - it wasn't that long ago it ceased to run. There's been talk of using the Gawler/Barossa leg of the railway for commuters for years - but the Barossans think it will interfere with the running of the Stone train... go figure!!

  7. Ann, I missed the poster but R noticed it.

    Ah yes Red, the Stone train. We heard about that. The line looked ok for a wine train to cruise about on, but big money would need to be spent to make it into a commuter line.


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