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The Cummins community paid homage on Thursday morning as it gave a final farewell to the Lower Eyre Peninsula rail industry that ran from November 18, 1907 until May 31, 2019.
About 450 people attended the Cummins and Districts Enterprise Committee event to see one of the last trains pass through the town.
The closure of the 111-year-old rail network came after Genesee and Wyoming Australia and Viterra failed to reach an agreement to renew a rail grain haulage agreement in February.
Enterprise committee member and Lower Eyre Peninsula councillor Wendy Holman said the railway had been instrumental in opening up the central EP and the Cummins township had grown around the line.
"It was about acknowledging the ending and the community felt it was really important to recognise the history and the closure," Mrs Holman said.
"The atmosphere was somewhat somber but also really appreciative of what it has done for our region and some trepidation on the impact the closure will have."
The train stopped over the railway crossing and the drivers Tim Hawks and Bruce Seaton were presented with a picnic basket filled with homemade treats on behalf of the community.
Mrs Holman said the picnic basket represented the importance of picnics to the region's rail history, as the first train carrying 800 passengers stopped for a picnic.
Cummins Area School students attended the event and gave "high-fives" to the drivers before waving the train goodbye, along with the town's oldest resident, 103-year-old Sis Murnane, who had witnessed the earliest days of the rail and now the end.
Although 60 to 70 per cent of grain was already hauled by road the railway closure could see an additional 77 trucks per day along the Tod Highway alone.
The state and federal governments pledged $32-million to upgrade the region's roads but have not released a plan or timeline for how the funding will be spent.
Brian Treloar, who was the council's chairperson from 2001 to 2006, said he was angry the line had deteriorated to the point of closure and wondered why the government had not done more to save it.
Mr Trreloar said the region's roads and road safety would suffer as a consequence but Friday's event was about sharing stories, experiences and memories of the railway.
"(It) is a time to remember, it is also a time to move on, look ahead and make the most of what's to come, it will be okay," he said.
This article first appeared on www.portlincolntimes.com.au
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