Celebrating South Australia


14 March 1883 First train to Aldgate

 14 March 1883   First train to Aldgate

The 14 March 1883 was to be a gala day for the people of Aldgate as the official opening of the first section of the railway line to Nairne was to take place.

At 11.30 am the train left Adelaide with its carriages packed with dignitaries: the Governor, Sir William Robinson, politicians, businessmen, the Post-Master General, Sir Charles Todd, the Surveyor-General, George Goyder and many others.

The imported American locomotive steamed cheerfully along until it began the long haul up the hills. Somewhere just short of Blackwood the engine ran out of puff and came to an ignominious stop. The driver cautiously reversed down an incline and managed to get up enough steam to make Blackwood station.

There everybody got out while it was decided what should be done. Then someone had the bright idea of uncoupling all the carriages except the first Vice-Regal car, which chuffed off to the official reception at Mount Lofty and Aldgate, leaving the remainder of the party cooling their heels in amazement. After some three hours the rearguard was reunited with the main party and the celebrations continued.

Tom Dyster, Pump in the Roadway,  Investigator Press, 1980,
pp. 75-82.