Does anyone know what the last ever steam passenger service was on the Victorian Railways? If someone has the last goods steam service as well that would be great. I think I read somewhere that it was K162 in 1979, but I could be wrong.
My memory tells me that the last steam hauled goods train (in regular service, not the driver training workings to Dandenong) was a Queenscliff goods. There were a number of K classes being used as shunting locos at North Geelong during 1969, and one of them worked the last goods.
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 for my transport.
There was an A4 size hardback photo book published circa 1982? by a train fan club (possibly the ARHS?) that had lots of B&W photos of the last years of steam trains as well as a few pages of text. It had lots of pics around Maryborough including a few of C class 2-8-0's.
I can't remember the name of the book or even the author, so googling for it on so little information didn't yield any useful results. But it's a great book for people interested in that sort of thing. Can someone recall the name, or the author, or better still provide a cover photo?