Clare Railway Centenary

Saturday 7 July & Sunday 8 July

International best-selling author Monica McInerney to launch John Wilson's new book, The Riesling Railway, at the National Railway Museum as a part of the Clare Railway Centenary.

The launch of The Riesling Railway, which traces the history of the Riverton to Clare railway line, on Saturday 7 July will be the highlight of a special weekend at Port Adelaide celebrating Clare Valley. John Wilson, a railway historian who travelled extensively along the line before its closure in 1983, was determined that its attraction should not be lost to history. His full-colour book, which will be available for purchase at the Museum's shop, follows the history of the line through to its conversion to today's well-known Riesling Trail.

As well as celebrating the centenary of the opening of the railway, the weekend will also celebrate 25 years of the Riesling Trail. It was on 5 April 1993 Terry Lavender, of Recreation SA, addressed a public meeting in Clare and introduced the name 'The Riesling Trail'.

The railway may now be long gone, but as John Wilson notes in his book, there are two legacies that continue to work very well for the Clare Valley – the Riesling Trail and author Monica McInerney. If Clare didn't have a railway station, Monica's father, Steve (as its Stationmaster for 35 years) would have found another railway town to bring up his family, and somewhere else would have called Monica their own.

Monica McInerney, who now lives in Dublin Ireland, is an award-winning fiction writer, whose most recent book, The Trip of a Lifetime, went straight to No. 1 in Australia when it was released in July last year. While her forthcoming visit to South Australia will include time with family in addition to promotional activities surrounding her recent novels, the timing of that visit has been deliberate to participate in the Clare Valley railway centenary.

As well as launching John Wilson's book on the Saturday, guest of honour Monica McInerney will also take to the controls of the 99 year-old Scottish-built steam locomotive Peronne, which will be running as part of the two-day event.

NRM Executive Officer Bob Sampson said "Activities on the weekend will focus on the people and activities of the Clare Valley, including special displays and train rides aboard Bluebird Kestrel - which took people to Riverton, where they joined trains to Clare and Spalding. Traditional railway coffee and sultana cake, as served in the Riverton railway station refreshment rooms, will be served in our Cafeteria carriage during the weekend too!"


Media contact: Bob Sampson - Executive Officer   


Train Rides

Bub – No Charge

Bluebird – $3/Adult

Peronne – $3/Adult

Visit the NRM

76 Lipson Street
Port Adelaide
South Australia  5015
Open Daily / 10am – 4:30pm





5-15 yrs & with an adult


2 adults & up to 3 children


  • Prices may vary for special events
  • Open from 12pm on ANZAC Day
  • Closed Christmas Day

The National Railway Museum acknowledges the Kaurna people as the traditional owners and custodians of the Adelaide Plains. We honour and respect their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to this country. We aim to respect the cultural heritage, customs and beliefs of all Indigenous people.

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