The National Railway Museum is searching for stories, photos and any other information about a miniature railway that used to run at Semaphore; we believe the railway was in operation during the 1940s and 1950s.
From what we have been told, and can see in the three photographs we have located, the train used to run along the foreshore and then did a loop over the water on a track that ran adjacent to the Semaphore Jetty. The train was owned by George Richmond, who also owned the Gee Whiz amusement ride at the time.
In the early days of the train ride passengers rode aboard carousel horses attached to the carriages. Mr P. Davidson has told us of his memories of the ride in the 1950s, here is an excerpt;
“I remember during the 50's riding this little train during the summer months. Although, during my era, the horses had been replaced by bench seats, where we would sit and dangle our legs over the side onto a platform, which would clear the sand by a couple of inches! It was possible to actually touch the sand with your toes.
The engine shed where the train was stored seconded as a tunnel having of course entrances/exits at both ends. We talk of aromatherapy, and even now whilst writing I can still smell the greasy aroma from that shed and the salty smell of sea-grass.”
Reportedly the train track was destroyed during a large storm that occurred in 1954, after that the ride was discontinued. On the 21st of December 1992 a new miniature train ride was established between Semaphore and Fort Glanville by the Port Dock Station Railway Museum, which later became the National Railway Museum.
If anyone has any additional photos, information or stories they would like to share about the train that ran at Semaphore during the 1940s and 50s please contact NRM curator, Moana Colmer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.