The 40km of line through the Pichi Richi Pass are the remains of the grandiose dreams of South Australia's 19th Century politicians. A North-South transcontinental railway was to make South Australia the dominant State, straddling key communication lines to Asia and Europe. But the Great Northern Railway was diverted through difficult country to serve local, marginal farmers. The line was too costly, and was never completed. New standard gauge lines to Leigh Creek and Darwin (via Tarcoola) now bypass it totally.
The original video of this name, shot in 1999 and now withdrawn, showed operations over the original 25 kms of preserved line through the Pichi Richi Pass in South Australia, using 'W' class 4-8-2s and a 'T' class 4-8-0. There was also a fascinating sequence showing an original 'Steam-motor', of a type extinct during the 1920s in the UK, at work.
This DVD, double the length, includes a lot of extra footage shot in 2005, by which time the line had been considerably extended to Port Augusta, and extra locomotives are shown at work on the line. The Pichi Richi Railway may not be well known outside Australia, but it is an interesting operation, through difficult terrain - and it is worth buying this DVD just to see the steam-motor in operation!
Produced by - Camden
Running time - 120 Minutes