"Established in 1886 by virtue of the Silverton Tramways Act. The company was registered under the Victorian Companies Act 1890, in 1894."
Silverton! It is Australia's oldest privately operated railway company. Originally based in Broken Hill to shunt mines and operate a narrow gauge railway through the interesting town of Silverton into South Australia, ending at the township of Cockburn.
The reason for such a remote railway line was interstate rivalry, neith NSW or South Australia would allow the other state to build into their state. Thus the Silverton Tramway Company was born to connect the two.
In 1970 a standard gauge line bypassed this link and the line was closed and nowdays is removed, except for a few interesting relics that have survived.
This was not the end for Silverton, the company continued on shunting the mines around Broken Hill with their DL531 ALCo locomotives.
In more recent times Silverton has spread its wings and become a operator of freight services around New South Wales and into other states.
Even later it was merged with South Spur (a private railway company started in Western Australia) and became 'Southern and Silverton' (often refered to as 'Scumbag & Simpleton' by some more disenchanted employees).
Today the whole lot has been sold to another company called 'Coote Industrial'.
Recent reports from within say that the 'Silverton' name has been so badly tarnished by the recent ownership that it is to be completely removed from public view. Indeed at least one of te recently returned C class has recieved 'South Spur' names on both sides, with no hint of 'Southern and Silverton'.
A shameful end to a once proud and VERY RESPECTED name.
To all involved - Hang your heads!
** Thanks to 'Silverton48s32' for the 80 class photo!
* Thanks to bodgy scanner for cutting nose off 48s!