I thought we live in a freedom of speech and freedom to take photos country …
Yes, with certain reasonable exceptions.
… manufacturers don't like enthusiasts taking there photos …
Freedom of speech includes manufacturers of trains or other goods being free to not like photos (or videos) taken of their products.
With the exceptions of those photos being used to reproduce a design or being altered to misrepresent the quality of the product, there is no special privilege given to that like or dislike.
They are also free to purchase the exclusive rights to the ownership and usage of a photo from you at a mutually agreed price, should they want it kept out of public circulation.
… it is not a criminal offence to take photographs of anything, unless the subject material is copyrighted. I can't say for certain but I don't believe the design of the A City trains to be copyrighted.
It most certainly would be covered by copyright for a period of the original author's death plus 70 years. The original author for copyright purposes would probably be the chief engineer on the design of the 1980s Adtranz units from which the newest design has evolved through a number of iterations.
However, taking a photo of it would not breach their copyright on the design, as a photograph is an original work - basically unless you are using it in the process of counterfeiting artwork or currency.
To breach copyright laws on a train design would require you to steal the plans and use them for some purpose (making trains yourself according to those plans or a modified of those plans) without Bombardier first agreeing to issue a license to use the plans or selling ownership of the plans outright.
I would ring someone else in that organisation. And then go higher than this hothead.
No. A photographer wanting to take photos in a public space and use them for whatever purpose they want has absolutely no need to ever contact any staff member of any business.
Please note that railway stations in South Australia are not public spaces though. The occupier of the property (i.e. Adelaide Metro) does
have the power to request people stop taking photographs or promptly leave the property at the risk of a trespassing prosecution.
At least you did the right thing by asking first!
Asking permission where none is ever required is counter-productive, and that action reinforces the belief held by law-ignorant PR types and the knuckle-dragging thugs they employ for "security" standover scams that for-profit transnational corporations are allowed to restrict photography in public places. Stop ruining photography for the rest of us by giving substance to that belief.
If Bombardier don't want their trains to be seen they should be testing them at a private track where they, as the lawful occupier of the property, would have the right to evict people if they refuse to stop taking photographs and/or deny entry to people equipped with a camera or some other device which includes a camera.