South Australian model enthusiasts run park with miniature train fun rides at Millswood

SASMEE Park at Millswood Crescent, Millswood, has miniature train rides running continuous loops.
Image courtesy South Australian Society of Model & Experimental Engineers (SASMEE)

South Australian Society of Model & Experimental Engineers (SASMEE) conducts miniature train rides at its park in Millswood Crescent, Millswood, twice a month throughout the year.

Fred Hercus was a prominent early member of the Incorporated South Australian Society of Model Engineers in 1927. (The Hercus Adelaide factory made the training lathes used for metalwork in South Australian schools and colleges.)

The society aims to keep interest in train model making and its related engineering and tools. After using a portable track, the society in 1947 obtained elevated land (on earth taken to build the Goodwood underpass) at the fork of the then-Willunga and Hills railway lines. With land passing from South Australian Railways to federal government to Unley Council ownership, the society’s volunteers built a three-gauge rail track, clubrooms and boating pond in a park setting.

A boiler supplies the steam to operate the engines and to blow the whistle. Historical exhibits from the 1880s include two industrial engines from the former Brompton gas works and a collection of working model beam, mill and vertical-type engines.

Locomotives at the park range from the tiny Juliet running on 3½” gauge to the Koppel on 7¼” gauge – about one-third full size. All the steam locomotives are privately owned, many built by society members.

The SASMEE miniature train park at Millswood, just behind the bowling club, is open (weather permitting) to the public in the afternoon (1.30 to 5) of the first Sunday of every month and the third Saturday of every month. Children and adults can ride on model steam and diesel trains running continuous loops and stopping at the park’s two stations to let passengers on and off. Tiny (toy sized) model trains are also displayed.

South Australian Society of Model & Experimental Engineers membership is open to anyone over 14 with a genuine interest in model engineering.

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