The Overland turns 135

Excitement was in the air as over 100 community members, young and old, gathered at the Bordertown Railway Station to wish the much loved Overland Train a happy 135th birthday.

The Overland arrived in Bordertown at about 11am on Thursday, January 20 on its trip from Adelaide to Melbourne.

It was greeted by the excited crowd, and even though no passengers stepped aboard or disembarked, the train stopped for about ten minutes and train manager, Charlie was able to have a chat to a few people who had come down for the special occasion.

Charlie, who has worked on the Overland for about ten years, said he was pleased to see such a good turn out for the event.

"It's a fantastic turnout, we've got great support and following," he said.

Everyone on the platform had stories to share about their great experiences with The Overland.

One of those people was Helen Till, who recounted stories of using the Overland's service to visit her grandchildren in Ararat.

She shared that every time she had used the train, the service from staff was amazing.

"It helps so many in country towns," she said.

Helen's husband, Steve Westmacott who is part of the South Australian Police Historical Society, came down to wow the crowd in an authentic SA police uniform and salute the train.

Another local, Wendy Wiese shared that the original engine shed from the Bordertown Railway Station found a new home on her and her husband, Brian's, property just outside Mundulla in about 1925 and was used consistently as a shearing shed until about 20 years ago.

The event was put together in only about two weeks by three key people, the chair of the Bordertown on the Move Committee, Cathy Langley, Communications & Economic Development Officer at council, Kelly Hutchinson, and member of Bordertown on the Move, local train historian and enthusiast, Robert Beare.

They had help along the way from community members and the operation staff at council who tidied up the platform and helped make the event a success.

Cathy said she was pleased with the turnout and thought the event was a great success.

Charlie and Cathy had a quick chat and everyone aboard the train received a visitor guide for the Tatiara region, to encourage them to stop a bit longer than ten minutes next time they chug on by!