On my most recent visit to family in Peterborough in the mid-north of South Australia I took the photo above of an old locomotive on display in the main street. I can’t tell you any details of the loco – but I am sure that my brother-in-law could tell me plenty about it – and how to drive it. He cut his teeth driving a range of locomotives over many years.
I have managed to find the following information from the council website:
“On display in the centre of town, adjacent to the public toilets, is an 1880’s Y Class Steam Locomotive. She was one of the first Steam locomotives operating between Silverton, Petersburg and Port Pirie hauling iron ore to the smelter and wharf for export.” (Petersburg was the pre-WW1 name for Peterborough.)
What caught my interest in particular this time, however, was the memorial plaque in front of the locomotive, show in the photo below (click to enlarge). I’ve probably seen this memorial many times in recent years but have never taken the time to peruse the inscription.
The memorial celebrates the contribution of a large number of local railway workers who died in the course of duty on the railways. I am sure that there must be other memorials like this in other parts of the world, but I know of none, nor have I seen any in my travels. Very sad, but quite fitting to pay tribute to those workers.