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Stars wow crowd

Friday, 3rd December, 2010

James Reyne performed two Aussie Crawl favourites, Reckless and Errol James Reyne performed two Aussie Crawl favourites, Reckless and Errol

By Gina Wilson

The city's mayor, Wincen Cuy, and about 100 people welcomed the Indian Pacific's Outback Christmas train into the city yesterday morning.

On board this year were Santa Claus and Aussie rock legends Mark Seymour and James Reyne.

Despite the train being an hour late due to inclement weather, Santa assured children that his timing would be better on December 25.

"Of course I'll be on time. I'm always on time," he told them. The Alma Primary School students provided the start-up act for the stars with an Outback Christmas carol, before James Reyne kicked the 15-minute gig off with "Reckless", an 1980s hit for his band Australian Crawl. 

He also performed another of the band's hits, "Errol". Mark Seymour, formerly of Hunters and Collectors, sang the perennial favourite "Holy Grail "before he and James Reyne joined the Alma choir in "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree".

Mr Seymour said the singers had chosen songs that people would know. He said it was certainly a different gig this time than when his band performed at The Night Train disco at the Argent Hotel years ago.

The Christmas train has been rolling east to west across the continent for a decade now, bringing Aussie stars to outback towns and raising money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

The train's 4,352 kilometre journey began in Sydney and will end tomorrow afternoon in Perth, where Santa Claus will alight and head back to cooler climes.

"I'm going the whole way to Perth," Santa said. "I've got the reindeer in the last carriage and when I get to Perth I go back to the North Pole."

Santa said it had been a pleasure spreading Christmas cheer across the outback.

"It's lovely to do this trip each year. This is the tenth trip we've done. "I like going 'ho ho ho' right across the countryside."

"Broken Hill is one of the highlights of the tours," GSR chief executive officer Tony Braxton- Smith said.

"This train, we start in Sydney and end in Perth, is continuing a tradition of taking Santa through the Nullarbor and saying thanks."

Mr Braxton-Smith said GSR had raised more than $1 million for the Flying Doctor in the last 10 years.

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