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Statement from Ixion Model Railways Ltd
Railways have forever been an integral part of South Australia’s history, playing the vital role in expanding mining, farming and pastoralism back in the early 1800s.
As technology advanced and the network across Australia began to expand, small towns in the Mid North were put on the map, including Crystal Brook, Peterborough, Gladstone and Telowie.
Although the lines are no longer used as frequently or for the same reason, their history still lives on and it is people like Andrew Young, who have made sure that the prominent history never dies.
The Crystal Brook resident, originally from New South Wales, grew up around the railways and spent a lot of his youth travelling on trains, and he has decided to put forth his personal collection not only for tourists to explore, but also for those who shared a similar upbringing.
“I have accumulated a lot of books, photographs and magazines and having moved to Crystal Brook, primarily because the railway so close to here, I wanted to make use of the material I collected.”
“There are a lot of people that pass through the town that have a railway interest and this shop became available and so I have set up this display which includes movies, DVDs, pictures, historical photos and a lot of photos that I have taken myself over the years.”
The store is covered in photos full of history from all over the Mid North, with Crystal Brook a focal point in the large display.
“We have a number of books people can read, there are a lot of photographs of the railways in its hay day.”
“I also have a lot of photos that I have taken myself, so if people are interested to see those, particularly the trains that pass through Crystal Brook.”
Andrew explains that the history of the trains is so rich, and so many people have different stories to tell, that opening his doors on the main street of Crystal Brook has resulted in many people wanting their stories to be told as well.
“I have had a number of people who have spent quite a bit of time here talking about their life on the railway, how important they were for the growth of the state and this district, but of course most of this has now gone. It has just been very interesting to listen to the many stories that they have been able to tell.”
“As time goes by, more and more people tend to be sending me something or bringing me something in that has some sort of historical interest.”
“The railways were very important for the development of the state in the movement of crops and freight. Crystal Brook is on a major rail line which connects Crystal Brook to Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin. It is also a junction, the trains go through Crystal Brook heading towards Broken Hill and Sydney.”
It is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 am until 3pm and from 9am-12pm on a Saturday.
Since opening on January 30, the shop has had a number of people pass through, with many people impressed on the wide collection that Andrew has created.
“It has been very very positive. Everyone that has come into the shop has been very impressed and of course railway is not everybody’s cup of tea.”
“Not everyone is particularly interested in trains, but most certainly the feedback from the community so far has been very encouraging.”
This article first appeared on www.theflindersnews.com.au
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