About Me

My photo
Fifty six year old empty-nester. Wife to one, mum to four and nan to three precious grandies. Living simply is my passion, I enjoy growing food, living healthy and playing with a variety of crafts. I am always up for a bargain and love to op shop for vintage treasures.

Friday, November 3, 2017

road trip to Ooldea (lots of train pictures)

Being married to a Train Driver can take you to some remote places. Hubby drives freight and passenger trains across a large section on Australia.

One hundred years ago the railway line right across Australia was completed with the joining of the rail from the west of Australia to the east and took place at Ooldea on the 17th October 1917. This is the only railway line linking the west and east. 

So this is why we were out in the middle of nowhere with many other railway enthusiasts to celebrate this special occasion.

We hooked our camper trailer up behind our four wheel drive and traveled eight hours west and then north to reach our destination at Ooldea, South Australia.

Come along as I share these photos and videos of our trip. 

This is some of the track travelling north of Nundroo...

Our campsite...We were travelling with friends from Port Lincoln. Our camper trailer at the back and friends Oztent at the front...

Hubby selling dog spikes...

The newly erected sign, after the old one (erected 1967) was eaten by termites and fell down.

The Indian Pacific passing by...named after the two oceans on either side of Australia.

A short clip of the Indian Pacific...I had to crouch down between the crowd to record this lol!

Sundown on the first night...

Hubby was privileged to drive the locomotive used for display on the day of celebration. He was accompanied by a driver from Kalgoolie, Western Australia...

Sharing information with the public...

The ARTC gang that currently work on the line, pictured with the two train drivers...

The original railway gang at the joining of the rail in 1917.  This was taken at the exact same place as the photo above.

The crowd starting to build...

It was very hot and windy for the two days we were there. Our lips were so wind burned or was it sand blasted?  The temperature was 40C (104F), no air-conditioning and very little shade, as you can see. However this was insignificant to the hardship of the men that built the railway line.  They had to endure so much more. I have great respect for these men.

One of the special guests was Dick Smith.  He loves the railways and flew his plane in especially for the occasion.

Hubby had prepared some dog spikes to sell on the day. He presented Dick with number 2 of 100...Hubby received an email a few days later from Dick thanking him for the special gift.

Close up of one of the dog spikes.

Some local aboriginal kids (from Maralinga) getting a photo with the new monument...

 The crowd is building.

After all the speeches, the plaque was unveiled...

Time for a couple of quick photos...

If they look pretty grubby, it is because it was very dirty and we were camping after all. No showers out here...

And lastly one of the Train Driver and myself...I look like I have a lovely tan, but it could be red dirt lol! 

Mike Roberts wrote this song for the celebrations.  He was asked whether he could write a song and perform it on the day.  With no knowledge of railways and only a couple of weeks to write it, this is what he came up with. "Bands of Steel", I like it!

The train behind was the same Indian Pacific in my photos.

We headed off after the ceremony to head home via the coast, but that is a whole another post. 

Stay tuned,

See you soon.



  1. Thank you earthmotherwithin :)


  2. Great song Tania. Something about trains and long railway lines in the outback which draws me in. I think it’s the endless track, red dirt, heat and mystery that grabs me.
    Good history lesson for me and a great read. I’m glad you all enjoyed and it had such a great turnout.

  3. Thank you for your kind comment Kylie.

    It may be dirty and hot, but I do enjoy getting out into the wide open spaces of Australia. There is nothing better! We didn't stay long after the event. There were too many people for my liking. As soon as it had finished we were out of there and found a spot where there was not a soul in sight, just us and the ocean...bliss :)


  4. awesome post, loved the history of it all too, enjoyed the song as well, very nice!
    we lost our rail here, shame, now we have a walking/bike trail instead; our markets still have a few tracks & a small cart, we're also getting a lovely carriage, which will before a coffee venue hopefully
    thanx for sharing

    1. Losing the local railway lines is a crying shame...we have lost a lot over our way and now they are just walking/cycling trails too.

      We are lucky to have the Pichi Richi railway here Selina. It has lovely old locomotives and carriages and is very popular for travelling from Quorn to Port Augusta. It is run by dedicated volunteers.


  5. Tania, I can't imagine sitting out in that 40C heat without shade! You must be used to the sun beating down on you. A lot of history there. I had a laugh about the old monument being eaten by termites. LOL!

    1. Yes they have learnt their lesson Nanna Chel, the monument is now made of steel...try and eat that you termites!


  6. Oh, I love trains, Tania. What an adventure. I didn't know your husband drove trains. Fascinating...

    1. Thank you Stephanie, glad you enjoyed :)


  7. Oh Tania, what a great post. ! Thoroughly enjoyed it. Having been married to a die hard Railway man for the last 40 years We thoroughly enjoyed this.
    My man was a track maintainence worker , his brother a 50 year freight train driver , my niece is a freight driver ... it's in their blood.

    Cheers Jane.

    1. Hi Jane,

      I never knew you had railway blood in your family. That's amazing!

      Glad you enjoyed :)



I love reading your comments and will do my very best to reply. PLEASE NOTE that if using an anonymous account to comment, you MUST add your name within the comment otherwise I will not publish them. Thank you for understanding.