Ngadjuri Country
A settlement with Germanic origins, Petersburg became Peterborough during the First World War. Renowned for its three-gauge railway turntable, being home to the so-called Bishop of Railways, John Henry Norton who rode the rails tending to the spiritual care of those who followed the extension to Broken Hill. There are famous stories where the water from a steam train was depleted by an elephant, and of course, the lovable Bob the Railway Dog.
From being a major regional centre in the 1920s the change from steam powered engines to diesel in the 1960s began the demise of the railways as an employer, and the town. Today, Peterborough is supported by a successful tourism industry that focuses on the social identity, industrial heritage and community history that reflects the journey of the railway and the people who built it.
Photo: Peterborough History Group
Elephant causes havoc
Wirth’s Circus travelled the railways for the entertainment of those in towns and along the line. One of those trains was literally stopped in its tracks when a naughty elephant discovered the adjacent water tank and used its trunk to siphon the water out and spray it all around. Photo: Lionel Noble Collection.