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Fifty years ago, Ian Heather celebrated 100 years of rail by catching a steam train from Lithgow to Clarence.
"It was two steam locomotives, the 1243 and 1709, and the Governor's carriage and three Pullman carriages," he said.
"It was lovely, you know, it was a steam train."
On Saturday, October 19, Mr Heather returned to Bowenfels station with his wife Susan to take a ride on the first diesel shuttle to Wallerawang and watch the Beyer-Garratt 6029 steam train roll in to Bowenfels as part of the station's 150th celebrations.
Mr Heather's father, who started out originally as a marine engineer, had taken up a post as an engineer at Wallerawang Power Station at the time of the centenary celebrations, and the family eventually made old National School building at Bowenfels their home.
From his earliest days, Mr Heather has had a love for trains.
"I don't know why. It's in my blood," he said.
Steam trains in particular hold a fascination for people, he said.
"Someone said, in 1965 when they finished up with steam in British Railways, someone wrote a little passage, [saying that the stream train was] man's closest invention to a human being," he said.
"It was alive, it breathed and anyone who has experienced a trip on a steam train and living with steam will have the most pleasurable memories to the end - that's what he said."
This article first appeared on www.lithgowmercury.com.au
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