It's 05:40 Saturday morning at Pichi Richi Railway's running shed in Port Augusta. As dawn broke outside, I headed into the shed & caught up with John Smythe, rostered driver of the Afghan Express.
I have come to join John on a trip in the cab of W 934, as he & his fireman prepare the locomotive for the days trip to Quorn & returning to Port Augusta late afternoon.
Whats it take to operate a steam engine, well, it started with the fire being re-lit at 06:00 by the fireman. While the fireman it getting steam up, the driver is oiling the loco.
By 09:00 we have steam up & more out of the shed. It is then time to shunt the consist to the station & on time departure at 10:30 for Quorn.
At Quorn loco workshop the loco is coaled & watered ready for the return trip.
Back at Port Augusta, the loco is turned on a hand operated turntable. The consist is shunted back into the shed. Loco then is shut down for another weekend.
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