Council suspends Pirie Rail Express after maintenance review

PRIDE: Port Pirie Rail Express volunteer John Turci sits in the driver's seat of the 'Lady Pirie' mini-train which brings joy to hundreds of children each year. The service has been suspended from operation.
PRIDE: Port Pirie Rail Express volunteer John Turci sits in the driver's seat of the 'Lady Pirie' mini-train which brings joy to hundreds of children each year. The service has been suspended from operation.

Port Pirie Regional Council has temporarily suspended operations of the tourist attraction, Pirie Rail Express.

This comes after the express’s members’ maintenance review of its engines and an inspection of the workshop, storage areas and location.

The council has found some issues that it wants to tackle and while this is being done, the express will temporarily cease public access and run days.

Efforts are being made to bring the express back to public access with minimal downtime.

The nearly-15-year-old express, which recreates the Broken Hill-Port Pirie line, is an iconic tourist attraction and family-friendly activity for locals, attracting significant support on run days.

The mini-train is at the Port Pirie Regional Tourism and Arts Centre and could previously have been seen travelling the track beside Wandearah Road.

Council’s chief executive officer, Peter Ackland, confirmed the commitment to keeping the express on the rails.

“As the new chief executive officer, I see the importance of such an attraction to our area and the commitment of the band of volunteers that make this attraction possible – and council is committed to both the safety of its volunteers and the public, as well as keeping the train rolling,” he said.

“We are working with members of the Clare ride-on railways to help us to bring back the express as quickly as possible.”

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