The Tea and Sugar Train Archive contains documents donated to the Medical Library in 1994 by Robin Radford, the wife of Anthony Radford.
Anthony Radford was the founder of the Flinders Medical Centre Community Medicine Department. This department provided the medical staff who travelled on the Tea and Sugar train every six weeks, providing medical care to isolated railway workers, their families and pastoral families.
The Tea and Sugar train began as a service provided by Australian National Railways for their workers on the line across the Nullarbor Plain. The service gradually increased to also serve isolated communities along the route.
Running from Pt. Augusta to Kalgoorlie, the train carried groceries and fresh meat (with butchering facilities) and also provided banking facilities. From the late 1970s, medical services were included, provided by the Flinders Medical Centre with the assistance of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
In 1981, the train was restricted to stops at railway camps only. The butcher's van was removed in 1982, although prepacked meat could be ordered at Pt. Augusta prices. As the size and number of railway settlements decreased (due to track and train improvement), the route was shortened to terminate at Cook. The last run of the Tea and Sugar train was in 1996.
This archive consists of reports, notes (in diary form), correspondence, medical notes, RICE (Remote and Isolated Children's Exercise) information/correspondence and background material (articles).
Inclusive dates: 1976-1982.
View the list of the Tea and Sugar Train Archive contents here in FindIt@Flinders.
General Special Collections conditions of access apply.