Historic locomotive back on track

Tim Harris and John Green, of 707 Operations, with the locomotive City of Melbourne. Picture: Damjan Janevski

A re-enactment of Victorian railways steam locomotive R707’s 1985 inaugural tour to Bacchus Marsh will be the first leg of week-long celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the train’s restoration.

July 20 marks three decades since City of Melbourne’s restoration and its entry into mainline heritage operations.

To commemorate the milestone, Vintage Rail Travel and 707 Operations, a volunteer group of locomotive fans, have organised two steam train journeys for community members, family and friends to pay tribute to everyone associated with the restoration and 30 years of operation.

Jeff Moorhead, of 707 Operations, said it’s about celebrating the history of the trains.

“Vintage Rail Travel/707 Operations is an all-volunteer mainline heritage group that restores and maintains a fleet of heritage steam and diesel locomotives and carriages from the 1940s and ’50s for operation on Victoria’s rail network,” Mr Moorhead said.

“It’s a special day for all of those involved who love these trains.”

The first re-enactment trip, on July 12, will depart the Newport Heritage Workshops at 10.30am, arrive in Bacchus Marsh at 11.55am and return to Newport at 2.40pm.

For the second journey, a triple-headed steam train with locomotives R707, R761 and R711 will make a return trip to Seymour on July 19.

Book at www.707operations.com.au or call 0403 883 424.