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An important part of Port Lincoln's and Eyre Peninsula's railway history has received historical recognition with a listing as a State Heritage Place.
The SA Heritage Council has confirmed the Port Lincoln Locomotive Depot and Workshops have achieved State Heritage Place recognition following a consultation period.
The railway workshops, roundhouse and turntable complex was provisionally entered on the State Heritage Register.
We're delighted simply because it is the last complete intact combined workshops and roundhouse in the state.
Eyre Peninsula Railway Preservation Society president Peter Knife said this was a significant part of the region's rail history and the news of it receiving this recognition was welcomed.
"We're delighted simply because it is the last complete intact combined workshops and roundhouse in the state," he said.
"It was fully operational as locomotive and wagon workshops and is still used for wagon rebuilding."
]At its peak in the 1950s and 1960s the railway employed over 600 people in Port Lincoln.
The workshops employed many skilled tradesmen and many apprentices had their start there before moving on to other employment.
Preservation of the precinct comes after rail transport on the Eyre Peninsula network ceased more than a year ago.
Mr Knife said it was important to preserve elements of the rail network, which was an important part of the development of the region.
"It's more important now that we preserve the important aspects that remain so they don't gradually disappear because the railway played such a vital part in supporting the development of the Eyre Peninsula," he said.
"All townships along the line were established after the rail line came through."
One Rail Australia, formerly Genesee and Wyoming Australia are are still using the workshops for wagon rebuilding, including iron ore hoppers from Whyalla and gypsum hoppers from Thevenard.
The precinct joins other Heritage Place locations in Port Lincoln including the Port Lincoln Hawson's Grave, the former windmill base on Dorset Place and the Port Lincoln Police Station and Court House.
Another Heritage Place, the Port Lincoln Railway Station houses the Port Lincoln Railway Museum reopened for the public two weeks ago and for the short term will only be open on Wednesdays from 1 to 4pm.
Mr Knife said the society was happy to be able welcome visitors to the museum once again and to continue sharing the century-long story of the railways on Eyre Peninsula.
This article first appeared on www.portlincolntimes.com.au
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