M116 sucked me into the hobby. I first saw her in February 1985, a stinking hot day, as she was approaching Cummins on the weekly inspection done by John "Hoppy" Hopgood. As I took the photo (above, on Peelinna Creek Bridge), he slowed right down, stuck his head out, and asked:

"Wanna Ride?"

A whole 1800m to Cummins, and that was it!

I had never seen anything like it, having just moved over from WA. She was withdrawn late in 1986, and subsequently spent the next 7 years in Port Lincoln. M116 is a Tutts built Fairmont M15B-Z42. She was acquired by the SAR during the 1960/61 Financial year at a cost of £580.

In 1993, I had the chance to get an ex CR M19 from a gent in Hammond (a siding on the Quorn Line): The deal was a swap. An M15z42 for the M19.

I had been negotiating with 116's owner ever since he bought her (in 1987) - He finally agreed, and so over to Port Lincoln I went.We filled her up with water and fuel - primed her, and first pull - she ran. On to the truck it was, and back to Adelaide. In the deal I also picked up an ex CR M15B.

The trip on the truck and the canvas did not agree. But within days the dear was under repairs. I wacked in a new set of seals. and a new belt. M116 was wired as a 6v car.

Of course, we could not deliver a dud car, so took it for a run up to Eurelia (on the Quorn Line - then being managed by Steamtown) with Don Smith as part of a track inspection: She ran faultlessly.

We borrowed the car back from Peter for the 1996 Steamtown meet. A colleague ran her, although she ran rather warm on the way home. Standing to the left is Denis Naughton, and behind is an SAR Motor Quad he did up - a real pearler.

Sadly the quad is sitting forlornly in Peterborough.

Her last run was to Penong in 2002. A colleague had the fun of running her.

She will go through an overhaul at some stage.

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Page uploaded February 28, 2003. Updated January 1, 2016

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