The Ghan
My primary reason for travelling to Alice Springs in 1989, and 1991 was to assist the Ghan Preservation Society, and in particular, Ray Foster, with the operation of W924.

I did a lot of my training with Ray here and on HVTR steam engines, but as Ray also had a penchant for section cars, taking the Ghan's Tamper car out was also on the agenda.

They had an M15 B that had a leaky head. We did try to get it going, but lack of time and resources meant it had to wait.

The car was near Mt Ertiva, where the gang managed to complete track repairs with new timbers. From there on, the track was mush. We took 924 down for a "race", Ray got down, went for a walk, came back, looking very pale, and did not look down until we got back to the good track. He never went all the way again - he reckoned the W stayed on only through the strength of the dirt holding the rails.

The Ghan group passed control of the line to its maintenance man, and Sulzer expert Charlie Poole. But because of the downturn in tourism, and upturn in costs of insurance, they ,too, have suspended operations.

The Ghan's Tamper

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© Nic Doncaster

Page developed September 10, 2003