I remember

  steamhead Train Controller

Location: Home
Well I suppose I could elaborate a little Smile

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...

Regards, Adrian

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  jm1941 Chief Commissioner

Location: Mount Gambier
Excellent post Adrian was a pleasure to read.  Good posting example.
  Riccardo Minister for Railways

Location: Gone. Don't bother PMing here.
Riding the redhen to Belair and walking down into the park south of the station. Catching a Glenelg tram in about 1977. The Pichi Richi line with a loco each end and terminating in the middle of nowhere (no runaround). In the mid 80s, on the 2000 to Noarlunga, 3000 to Grange, seeing the Budd at Keswick. Seeing the Bluebird at Mt Gambier (alas not riding)
  ike1 Assistant Commissioner

i remember
the best part of this is being born in the 40s a watching our era pass through the hard times the good times /the steam era then diesel era then on to the hitec era of today with computer  controlled trains.
but still being able to drive a train and make it do what u what it to with skills we have learn over these times and still MOST IMPORTANLY
be able TO REMEMBER HOW TO DO IT   in our  later years

ike1 Crying or Very sad
  robbie_the_dips Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
i can remember the first time i went on the train, catching it a salisbury in about 1985 (i would have been about 4) then on the train to gawler central, then having lunch and going back to salisbury in a nice shiny 2000

can also remember moving to kapunda in 1988, and seeing wig wags on all the crossings except for the one on hancock road and coghill st.

and can also remember my excitement when i saw them going the first time, and my under shock and disgust when they removed them in 1993 and replaced them with stop signs of all things...
  4BJ Chief Commissioner

Location: Backside trackside at Hawthorn near Mitcham
The Mystery Tour of 1979.  At the time was was the longest and most heavily patronised train AHRS (SA Div)/SteamRanger had ever ran.  Most memorable was that a brakevan was laid on specially for myself and my rellies (parents, three brothers and two grandparents).  It seems the booking made by my grandmother was misplaced and by the time the error was realised, the train had been booked out.  Our brakevan was directly behind Sir Malcolm.  What a joy.

We departed Platform 11 and made our way up the Port line.  Around the balloon loop, then to Dry Creek via the Rosewater Loop and then to Gawler.  At Gawler, Sir Malcolm was turned and 2 830's were added to get us up the Roseworthy Bank.  Our eventual destination was Eudunda.

From memory, the 830's were detached at Gawler on the return trip.  Arrival at Adelaide was on Platform 13 and because of the length of the train it was necessary for me and my rellies to  walk through several cars to reach the platform.

One more thing about this trip.  Late last year I learnt that a friend of a friend had motorcaded it.  She was photographing the train from the Morphett Street bridge and called out to the crew "Where are you going?" One the guys on the footplate heard her and she soon became the receipient of a copy of the timetable wrapped around a lump of coal. Very Happy
  Gayspie Assistant Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
I am only 20 but boy can i remember a few things about trains in Adelaide and SA after spending a whole lifetime of catching them. Here goes:

- Cathode Ray Tube monitors in the Adelaide railway station.
- Train drivers manually announcing the next station.
- *Boom Boom Boom* doors closing sound.
- PSA's giving the right of way at every stop.
- Grange trains always departing from platform 7 under all circumstances.
- Yellow coin only on board ticket machines.
- Purple metro-ticket only on board validators.
- Comfortable interior brown seats facing each other.
- Pushing the door open with an actual knob.
- 2000 class jumbo railcars working the gawler and noarlunga lines.
- 5 10 evening express to noarlunga train being packed.
- Adelaide railway station being virtually advertising free.
- 3000 class poxbox railcar bogies whining whenever a train slowed to a halt.
- Trams terminating in the middle of Victoria square.
- H class heritage trams dominating the network.
- Clive the male voice annunciation machine.
- Millswood station being closed and covered in green paint.
- Noarlunga line terminating at Noarlunga.
- Old Port Adelaide viaduct being extremely dangerous to traverse.
- Mawson Lakes being a non existent station in an empty paddock.

What can YOU remember from the railways ?
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

A few memories to bring tears to younger persons eyes.

Riding my treddly with mates up to Marino and then get to drive an F around the loop onto  the mainline and back to the train.

Watching the signalman at Brighton when trains came of the single line onto the double track.

Oakland station when the cabin and station building were at ground level at the Brighton end of the platform.

Catching a train into town (Adelaide) with Mum and being forced to sit in the perambulator section of the baggage cars where the mums did not like the window open; however it was close to the engine. The track then was single line to Clarence Park.

In my teen years I went to school by train, in the morning a 930 pulling about 7 end and centre loading cars. I timed the homeward journey to either coincide with parallel running with the Tailem Bend pass pulled by a 620 or 520. On Tuesdays I would look out as the train passed Mile End yards for any sign on smoke at the head end of the Willunga freight. If there was smoke I would rush home and make up an excuse to borrow Mum's car. It was then off the Brighton station to marvel at the size of the cylinders of the 700 series loco at it waited for the down starter to clear. Then followed a few miles of motorcading to where the coast road ran out just beyond Halletts Cove. ( Note the spelling which was how it was in the 60s). Mum must have wondered why the car returned stinking hot and dusty after a shopping trip to Brighton, but she never said anything.

I remember waiting, camera in hand, at Blackwood for a much delayed Bridgewater special. To ultimately be greater by a 3 car Red Hen set followed by a column of smoke from my favourite engine 526. The Red Hen had failed at Lynton and 526 pushed it and pulled its capacity train up to Blackwood where the RH was shunted off.

One final memory for now. I missed the last run of my pet loco 526 when she ran to Riverton. That was the day I got married and it was not considered prudent to try and fit a rail trip or motorcade and a wedding into the one day. The marriage has lasted longer the 526!
  cmjl Station Master

Location: Adelaide
OK - I'll bite!

My favourite memories of railways of not that long ago are all centred on Mitcham Railway station in the late 1970's, early 1980's.

Recollections of the remnants of the yard where the old SAR trucks would be shunted full of mallee roots destined to be taken home and burnt in fireplaces.

Waiting for the train to go into town every Uni day in the early 1980's, and while waiting for the Red Hen (or 2000 class if I was lucky - the 21xx trailer railcars were beautifully quiet, except for the whale-song like noises that the carriage made), the Bluebird to Mount Gambier would sometimes pull in and people would board.  And watching the Islington works train pull out.

The beautiful old station - a class 1 like Blackwood, Aldgate, Mount Lofty and Nairne - with a still glass-windowed wooden waiting room on the track to Adelaide, with the contoured wooden slat seats that were really low to the ground.  A lovely garden that just happened to contain a car park, and not the other way around.  And the original SAR era "Mitcham Station" sign on Belair Road - the sort that used to point to every railway station from the nearest road.

Small things too, like the rubbish bin on the main platform emblazoned with an advertisement for rifles from Super Elliotts, Rundle Street, and the timetables that were glued onto the metal display boards under the main canopy.

Waiting there on the weekends with my bike to board a Redhen with 800 class baggage car for a trip up to Mount Lofty station, then riding back down through the hills to home.  And of catching the last scheduled STA train to Bridgewater from Mitcham station again, with it running all stops back to Adelaide in defiance of the train orders that stated an express return.

The morning in early 1986 I think when a Melbourne bound freighter lost some carriages as it went through the station and for the first time in my memory the STA trains used the old Clapham siding line to maintain service while the mess was cleared up.

But it was the Station Master I recall the most.  Bruce harked back to a time when public transport was truly a service to the public.  I never did get Bruce's surname, but he was there every morning selling tickets, and I believe he lasted in his post right up until the introduction of the Crouzet ticketing system in 1987.  I'd always buy my monthly travel card sticker from Bruce at Mitcham, and recall as well how when Crouzet came in there were still 2 or 3 days left in the month to run.

Less than a year later, I myself moved away from the area and have only been through Mitcham since then when I've been on The Overland.  It doesn't appear to have changed much.  Sure the glass is long gone from the shelter, the signal box is boarded up, and Bruce is long gone.  But there is still the grand old stone building, and the suburban trains still stop, unlike Clapham and Hawthorn.
  SinickleBird Chief Train Controller

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
The ring of a bell in the signal cabin at Aldgate, to let signalman know a down train has just passed Mount Lofty, so he can set the signals for it to pass.

830 class on the up Tailem Bend passenger, with 2 carriages.

Waiting on the frosty platform at Heathfield on a winter morning. Actual platforms at Madurta, Jibilla & Carripook.

Chatting with the driver on the last train to Bridgewater- they typically left the cab door open on the Red Hens. We had some real characters based out of Bridgewater.
  DJPeters Assistant Commissioner

Holdens railway station at Woodville.

The Hendon line.

The Finsbury Line.

The Semaphore road line.

The last piece of BG track at Glenelg at the end of the old tram stabling sidings on Colley Terrace.

The remains in some side streets at Glenelg of the old North Terrace line to Glenelg.

The remains in some side streets at Mile End of the old North Terrace line to Glenelg.

Glanville as a 3 way Junction station.

The original Backway at Port Adelaide.

Port Dock Railway Station and yard.

Most metro goods yards.

Woodville as a 3 way junction station.

Albert Park as a 2 way Junction station.

The Northfield line.

The Penfield line.
  DJPeters Assistant Commissioner

Forgot one The Willunga Line I was lucky enough to see one of the last trains that was pulling the track up cross South Road a long time ago now though.
  mm42 Chief Train Controller

Redhens parked at Bridgewater while arriving in Adelaide for the first time on the Overland.

First train to the end of the Tonsley line. It was a ballast train and we lived temporarily across the road while the station was constructed in 1965.

Redhens on the Bridgewater line travelling at line speed up Sleeps Hill in hot weather with doors wide open for ventillation. There was no air-conditioning and no nanny state for safety.

Taking a Redhen to Mt Lofty and walking to Waterfall Gully and back.

Seeing the daily Mt Gambier Bluebird from my school classroom.

Adelaide Station in all its magnificence with daylight platforms before the platforms were buried beneath a hotel complex.

The signs "x miles to Griffin Bros Teas".

When track maintenance was bad in the late 80's or early 90's and the 3000 series railcars would drive slowly through track buckles bad enough to close the line in other States. There was a particularly bad one at the northern end of the Sleeps Hill tunnel, another near Kilburn.

Walking on the O-Bahn before it was opened.
  ARG706 Chief Commissioner

Location: SA
Heath, do you realise that you were roughly 6 years of age when this thread was created? I had mistaken for a new one, due to the sudden number of recent posts following 14 years, 0 days, 18 hours and just over 57 minutes of it being dormant.
  CPH8 Locomotive Fireman

A few more.....

Riding on the Fageol from Port Lincoln to Wirrula in 1948
Rx on the Islington workie from Mitcham that my father caught every working day
F's on the Hendon line when I worked at Philips 1956-1958
520's on the Pinnaroo - when that went over the Angas Road crossing it was time for me to ride my bike to Unley High
720's with a long string of Holden bodies slogging up the grade from Goodwood to Mitcham
600's on the Overland from Tailem Bend to Serviceton then the A2's
The Broken Hill express. Walking between Sulphide Street station and Crystal Street. Sleeping in the luggage racks
That incident with 526 pushing the Red Hens. I have photos of it emerging from Eden Hills tunnel and at Blackwood
Riding with Dean Harvey in a compo brake down to Willunga behind a 700 while he talked about his ideas for preservation
Wagging Unley High on sports afternoon so that I could ride my bike down to Mile End and spend the afternoon on S161 shunting
The 5AD fun train to Kapunda behind a 620
The scrap value of an Rx - $120 and a 700 - $500. My father was a costing clerk at Islington until retirement in May 1966
The railway picnics on the West Terrace oval with trolley rides
Racing pigeons at Mitcham station
Putting pennies on the line when the Overland was due behind a 500
Being donkeyed on the bar of my father's bicycle up to Clapham station to see the first run of the Overland behind twin 900's
  CPH8 Locomotive Fireman

Another one....the SAR dogboxes. They were stored on the sidings under Bakewell Bridge for years. They were used for the 1955 South Australian Contingent to the Scout Jamboree in Melbourne. Eight to a compartment - two on the seats, two on the luggage racks, two on the floor and two half in/half out of the toilet for the overnight journey. No leaders in our compartments so we could smoke our heads off!
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
On the subject of remember when history.

The Adelaide - Port Pirie line was converted to standard gauge In 1982 (Salisbury - Merriton) and the Keswick Passenger therminal opened In 1984 my question Is where did the standard gauge passenger trains from Port Pirie terminate In Adelaide In that 2 year odd gap ?
  DJPeters Assistant Commissioner

I think in Adelaide Station for a while and the service may have been done by buses for a while as well possibly from Adelaide Station.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

On the subject of remember when history.

The Adelaide - Port Pirie line was converted to standard gauge In 1982 (Salisbury - Merriton) and the Keswick Passenger therminal opened In 1984 my question Is where did the standard gauge passenger trains from Port Pirie terminate In Adelaide In that 2 year odd gap ?
There were no standard gauge trains to Adelaide in that period.

It was either a coach to Port Pirie or a connecting coach from the AN Adelaide-Peterborough (broad gauge) train.
  brownhillboy Train Controller

As a country boy from East Gippsland in Victoria, I well remember my first visit to Adelaide in March 1966. I roamed around Mile End loco, which had very few operating steam locos by then, but there was a large number of stored engines, rusting away prior to scrapping. There were 14 Rx class stored tender to tender in seven of the shed roads. 624 and 627 were stored outside. F244 was in steam and hissed out onto the turntable, maybe for my benefit. Then 526 which was on standby, rolled out to the oil tanks to be fuelled up prior to running light engine on the southern line, just to stretch its legs.

I travelled back to Adelaide the following year. Rx 160 and Rx 228 were shunting the goods sidings, but there was nothing else in steam. Amongst the stored locos behind the depot were 753, 747 and 708.
  CPH8 Locomotive Fireman

Mile End loco closed in May 1966, the same month my father retired from the S.A.R. It was eerie seeing it dead after all those years of activity.
  Gayspie Assistant Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
Wasn't it fantastic back in the old days when the unions were strong, our jobs were guaranteed, and the cost of living was low? Smile
  brownhillboy Train Controller

Had a weekend trip to Adelaide in April 1971 for a welcome back 621 tour, then the last run of 526 to Riverton the next day. Have photos of 621, 526 and the end platform cars in the old loco yard at Mile End. Looks like most of the depot infrastructure was still standing at that date.
  DJPeters Assistant Commissioner

The Mile End steam depot closed about that time but the newer Mile End Diesel depot did not though as it was to keep running until the Dry Creek Motive Power centre was opened. And for a long while both old roundhouse  and steam depot and the newer diesel depot existed either side of the road bridge. The Turntable at the old roundhouse was used to turn diesels until the diesel depot got their own turntable.

I was on that 621 tour as well and it was called the Duke meets the Duchess tour.
  puppy smuts Beginner

September 1954 standing in Quorn station yards at near sunset watching the North bound Ghan depart

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