The Silverton Picnic Days are a legendary local custom in Broken Hill.
An eagerly anticipated social outing to a Penrose Park picnic offered a welcome escape from the heat and monotony of outback summers, and was common practice by the 1950s. One of the attractions was the Penrose Park Picnic Train, which has been restored and revived by the machinery Preservation Society and now runs once a month right here in Broken Hill.
Bob Pittaway Senior built the picnic train in the early 1950s for Snowy Rose. The mines used it at the annual “Mines Picnic Day” at Penrose Park, Silverton for mine employees and their families. These days were popular with families in Broken Hill and people headed out to Silverton by the hundreds.
The park outside Broken Hill on the road to Silverton was a significant recreational reserve for the community. The miniature train was part of the reserve’s attractions. The group received the train in 1993 when it was in a serious state of disrepair.
They have restored the train and now run it on the 3rd Sunday of the month and during school holidays as a community and tourist attraction in Kintore reserve, opposite the Broken Hill Tourist Centre.
The train can also be hired out for private functions and events.