Railway carriage relocated from Port Adelaide railway museum to Murray Bridge wharf | VIDEO, PHOTOS

Getting an 18-tonne railway carriage off a flatbed trailer is not an easy job, but it can be done, a group of history buffs have shown at Sturt Reserve.

The carriage in question was an M-class steel van used to carry freight on the South Australian Railways as far back as 1925, according to Murray Bridge Riverboat, Rail and Steam Group member Steve Moritz.

"There's (old) photos of dozens of the things down in the wharf area," he said.

"They were used to transport goods between river boats, Adelaide and Melbourne."

The group had bought it for $3500 from the National Railway Museum at Port Adelaide, which had been forced to get rid of some of its rolling stock to make way for the construction of a new passenger railway station.

So the truck pulled up at Murray Bridge's wharf, next to some of the other old carriages and the RX 160 steam locomotive.

Volunteers shovelled the dirt away from the worn rails running along the wharf as the trailer was tipped on an angle so the railway van could be rolled off.

But despite the van's heavy weight, the trailer's wheel arches, only a few centimetres high, were enough to stop it moving.

It took 45 minutes of prying, coaxing, levering and pulling to get the thing onto the rails and nestled against the next carriage along, as a handful of curious passers-by looked on.

An identical red van now parked in the middle of the reserve, below Wharf Hill, had formerly occupied the same spot at the wharf.

Mr Moritz hoped both, and the other carriages nearby, could someday serve as more than just historical decorations.

"They could be repurposed for pop-up shops or display rooms and still be in keeping with the heritage of the area," he said.

Mayor Brenton Lewis said a list of recommendated works to be carried out around the wharf area would be considered as part of the Murray Bridge council's 2019-20 budget.

"It's our plan to transform that ugly-looking yard ... there'll be a lot of items removed from that site, others retained, and others moved for redevelopment," he said.

A new tourism information centre and war memorial were among the ideas which were put forward for the area around the wharf, designated a tourism and history precinct, in a 2017 master plan for Sturt Reserve.

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