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A hundred years ago a tramway ran along Terralong Street in Kiama.
Now, residents are being invited to “go back in time to those good old days of railways”.
March 12, 2017, marks the 100th anniversary of a steam locomotive known as ‘Kiama’ that worked the tramway along Terralong Street.
The locomotive is a piece of Kiama's history, dating back to 1917 when it was used to haul blue metal from quarries in the area to Kiama Harbour.
Therefore, the ‘100 Years of Kiama’ event will take place at the Illawarra Light Railway Museum Society in Albion Park Rail on Sunday, March 12.
The tramway linked the blue metal quarry – where the Kiama Leisure Centre now is – to the harbour.
Before the ‘Kiama’ arrived on the South Coast in 1936, the train was used to haul sand from the Nepean River bed that featured in the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
It was later purchased by the volunteer-operated Illawarra Light Railway Museum Society in 1977, which began its restoration.
For instance, in 2015 the society received $5000 funding to restore the Davenport locomotive; this time to rebuild the saddle tank (water storage tank).
“It’s run many journeys since its restoration over the 40-odd years,” society treasurer Brad Johns said.
“On the day it’ll be in steam and actually be running on our main line ride.
“People who probably lived in the Kiama area back in those days when it was running can come and have a look, and see it run again.
“We’ll also have ‘Burra’, which is another local engine that used to work the Corrimal Colliery, it’ll be running too.
“You can enjoy the museum for what it is, and have a look around. Go back in time to those good old days of railways.”
The society recently issued a call-out for people with information or memories of ‘Kiama’ in the lead-up to its 100th birthday.
The rail society sought train crews or their families to share their stories and photos of tramway life in Kiama up until it closed in 1941.
Mr Johns said they had received some great responses from those with family connections to ‘Kiama’.
“We’ve got a lady from Kiama whose grandfather used to drive it – she’s coming on the day,” he said.
“And another gentleman from Dunmore, his dad used to drive it and he’s coming along too.”
The event runs from 10am-4pm.
It is free entry, although patrons will be required to pay for their train rides.
Visit http://www.ilrms.com.au for more details.
This article first appeared on www.illawarramercury.com.au
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