We timed our visit to Eagles Nest Retreat in Sheffield to coincide with the Redwater Creek steam train schedule. We had a manic program to keep on this trip, so stepping back in time was a welcome way to kick start the agenda.

Redwater Creek - Steam Train
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The Redwater Creek Steam Train prepares to depart the Sheffield Station

Redwater Creek Steam Railway Heritage Society

You wouldn’t be surprised to learn the Redwater Creek Steam and Heritage Society is a community project operated entirely by volunteers who are passionate about their railway. Our train driver John has manned the controls of the 1906 Krauss locomotive for more years than he cares to admit. He worked as an employee for the Tasmanian railway system before that.

Redwater Creek - John, Steam Train Driver
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John, the driver of the Redwater Creek Steam Railway locomotive in Sheffield

The Heritage Society has restored over 1km of track so far between the station and the end of the line at Victoria Street East. Steam train rides are offered to the public on the first full weekend of every month. You can catch the train from the original Sheffield railway station, departing every half hour between 11:00am and 4:00pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Extra journeys are added during the summer holidays.

Redwater Creek - Steam Train Sheffield
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One weekend a month the Redwater Creek steam train departs the Sheffield Station every half hour

Family-Friendly Tasmanian Heritage Railway

Passengers ride in Tasmanian heritage coaches which are still going strong after 100 years! We rode in the little red caboose which was constructed in 1979, but put together using antique parts from much older carriages. The deluxe carriage has padded bench seats and is painted bright green to match the steam engine.

Redwater Creek - Deluxe Heritage Carriage
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Perfect for families, the Redwater Creek steam train has two heritage Tasmanian carriages

This is a family attraction perfectly suited to young children. The length of the Redwater Creek journey is just right for juniors with a short attention span and they’re tucked safely inside the carriages. The steam train ride won’t break the bank with a family ticket priced at $12.00. A single adult ticket is $5.00.


 

Some of the older kids were offered a chance to help John as he repositioned the engine for the return journey. They were stoked to sound the whistle (but tried to act completely cool about it).

The younger ones were excited to help push the engine around on the turntable back at the station, making the railway an interactive experience.

Redwater Creek - Kids in Tasmania
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Junior passengers are invited to help turn the steam locomotive at the Sheffield Station

Sheffield Station Cafe

Once back at the Sheffield Station, patrons would be well advised to check out the cake display. The homemade vanilla slice with passion-fruit icing… just like Nana used to make! The Station Cafe sells real coffee and hot chocolate and has a small range of books, postcards, maps and souvenirs.

Redwater Creek - Sheffield Station
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Of course the Sheffield Railway Station would be adorned with a mural

Great Rail Experiences of Tasmania

Chris Martin is the chairman of the Tasmanian Association of Tourist Railways, and he and his colleagues plan to make their mark on the calendar of heritage events in Tasmania. He had this to stay…

The Redwater Creek Steam and Heritage Society aims to preserve two foot gauge railway and agricultural equipment from the steam era along with the skills needed to display the equipment in the working environment.  Their annual SteamFest on the March long weekend and the Steam Training Weekend at the end of October are obtaining significant community support.  Future plans include extension of their 20x36m display shed with a museum and coffee shop/souvenir outlet complete with plans for a branch line and the locomotive displayed in the coffee shop when it is not in use.

SteamFest Sheffield: 9-11 March 2013

If you’re keen on all things steam-powered, you should consider timing a visit to Sheffield to coincide with SteamFest. The north west coast festival will be held 9-11 March 2013 and is a major fundraising event for the Redwater Creek Steam and Heritage Society, so they have big plans. Besides the obvious steam engines and train rides, there will be music, food, stalls and entertainment for the whole family.

Redwater Creek - Steam Fest
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SteamFest ~ Sheffield March 2013, for the Redwater Creek Steam and Heritage Society.

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Map: Redwater Creek Steam Railway, Sheffield Tasmania…