THE historic steam locomotive at Sturt’s Reserve Wharf will make way for progress, but don’t worry; it will be exposed again after some loving care.
The locomotive, which weighs over 60 tonnes, will be moved from its location on the banks of the Sturt Reserve River Zone approximately 100 meters to a new site adjacent to the former Shell depot – home of the Murray Bridge Riverboat, Rail and Steam Group – where it will be restored and eventually moved to a location adjacent to the Goods Platform.
The move will involve the use of a crane and mobile track modules.
The locomotive has a lot of history; the 109-year-old ‘Rx 160’ steam engine was built by the South Australian Railways (SAR).
Rural Town of Murray Bridge senior project manager Tony Jordan said the locomotive was being moved to make way for work at the Sturt Reserve wharf site in the coming weeks, including a shelter and a adjoining landscaping as part of the multi-million dollar redevelopment at Sturt Reserve.
Mayor of the rural town of Murray Bridge, Brenton Lewis, said the redevelopment of the waterfront at Murray Bridge would see the Sturt Reserve transform into a center of activity and a powerful source of community pride.
“The proposed works in the History and Tourism sector will set the stage for the significant transformation of the Murray Bridge and make it a destination of choice to live, work, invest, do business, study and vacation,” he said. .
Construction of a limestone foundation pad at the new location will be undertaken during the first week of February.
The rural town of Murray Bridge said ongoing traffic and access to the Mobilong Wharf area would be restricted while landside work was underway until June.
The Rx-Class locomotive was assigned to both passenger and freight until the arrival of larger locomotives in the 1920s, after which they settled into branch, commuter and shunting roles. In this capacity, they lasted until the end of regular SAR steam operations.
The Rx 160 was among the last members of the class remaining on the SAR books when decommissioned on August 21, 1969.