Dean Harvey and his megaphone
Dean Harvey OAM was the long time tours organiser/tours director with Steamranger. He's the guy most directly credited with saving 520, 621, Rx 207 and Rx 224 from the scrappers torch and overcoming countless obstacles to keep broad gauge steam running in SA. Rx 207 is named in his honour. Anyway, Dean was always present on Steamranger trains during the 70's and 80's and he used to carry a large megaphone through which he would bellow at people to stay clear of the tracks during shunting and to arrange photographers so that everyone got a clear shot. It was really embarrassing to be singled out by Dean and yelled at through the megaphone, there was nowhere to hide. He was a big, powerfully built man with a great booming voice to match, so much so that I often wondered whether he needed a megaphone at all! Dean's pretty much retired these days - he's almost 80 - but he still pops up occasionally. I believe he sponsored the recent steel car train to Victor Harbour. Quite a guy, I reckon Australian Story should do a segment on him.
520 at high speed
Who could ever forget the thrill of standing on the end deck of an open ended centenary car in the days when that was still allowed while 520 showed it's pace? Hanging on for dear life with the wind tearing at you, eyes watering, soot in your hair, coal smoke and steam in your nostrils and the mighty blast of the whistle as the big engine hurtled along at 100+
Adelaide Station and Mile End loco circa 1978
Back then you could stand on the Burbridge Road bridge and watch single ended 930's and 900's ride the turntable. Or go to the Station and chat with the crews of loco hauled country passenger trains. Sometimes you would be offered a cab ride.
Memories of a more relaxed era, before corporatisation and security fears killed the romance of the railways...