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Luba Ilko describes herself as one of the "railway babies" and says she will miss the sound of the trains from her Myers Street home each day now that local rail services have ended.
Ms Ilko's father Jozef Ilko was born in the Ukraine to a farming family and moved to the north of Poland after World War II before he secured sponsorship and moved to Adelaide in 1965 to work in the steel works.
He moved his young family to Edillilie in 1968 with the promise of a job and a home at one of two cottages next to the town's silos.
The family were moved to Port Lincoln in 1972 and lived in a house near the London Street Bridge before finally settling in Myers Street in 1974.
Ms Ilko said her father worked on the railways as a fettler from 7am to 4pm for 20 years, from 1968 until 1972, before he was forced into retirement due to chronic bronchitis from his work.
"He came on a boat and had nothing but the government gave him the opportunity...and he was a very committed worker, he eventually learnt to read and write in English," she said.
"For us poorer families the railway gave us a home and an income...the railway and government don't realise what they did for my father and my family, it gave us a community.
"When he arrived the government gave him and all the other migrant families a little book with tips on where they could shop, special dates in Australia and the national anthem, all in English and Ukrainian."
The family farmed all of their own food growing up in the backyard of their Myers Street home Ms Ilko recalls and said all the railway labour intensive workers lived on the street until the railway was privatised in 1985.
She recalled a fond memory of her family's and other migrant families was the Christmas party the rail would put on each year for workers and their families through a social club.
"The rail gave so much security and stability to those families," Ms Ilko said.
"I already have tears, I keep waiting to hear a train...I would have loved for it to be saved.
"I am disappointed, the government has denied the people on the Eyre Peninsula the benefits of the industry...I'll be mourning the loss."
Ms Ilko still lives in the family home on Myers Street and has some of her father's things from the railway such as a laundry bag for workers working further up the line and staying overnight, and some old railway tracks and sleepers in her backyard.
"Every house on this street had old tracks and railway sleepers holding up their fences," she said.
This article first appeared on www.portlincolntimes.com.au
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