I read somewhere that West Coast Railway regularly ran a return service to Warrnambool on Saturdays using a steam loco in the late 90s. Can anyone shed some light onto this?
In 2000 on a Saturday morning down Warrnambool I was privileged to ride on the R Class footplate with my mate, the whole distance from Spencer Street to Geelong. I seem to remember the train ran express the whole way except for slowing a bit at Laverton to allow a cross with an up spark.
The R Class was banked by an S Class diesel. The R Class at speed was a sensation I'll never forget. Obviously the steam, the wind, the noise of the workings in the cab. The yawing and the vibration as the loco roared along and one held on to the rear of the cab directly behind the driver and the fireman and all that kept you from falling out was a slim chain.
The requirement to hang on for dear life as the train raced along made photography impossible, I couldn't take the smile off my face for days afterwards.
That one hour journey was a highlight in my life of my interest in the hobby and utilisation of railways