RAIL and photography enthusiasts lined the tracks at Kerang on Saturday for a rare and unexpected visit by the oil-burning steam locomotive R711.
The locomotive K153 had been scheduled to travel from Castlemaine to Echuca, but V/Line works on the Echuca line meant organiser SteamRail decided to instead run R711 to Swan Hill.
R711 hauled six cars, including first class carriages Tambo, Macedon and Lowanna which are based on the Victorian Goldfields Railway and three W class excursion cars.
R711 ( Spirit of Bendigo) is an oil-fired steam train owned by Bendigo City Council and cared for by SteamRail Victoria.
Local rail buff Daniel Moore was on hand in Kerang to photograph the locomotive on its return journey from Swan Hill.
"2001 was the last time that Kerang and Swan Hill saw an oil-fired steam train on the line," he said.
"The train passed through Kerang at 11.20am and returned at 4pm, with a 20-minute stop in Kerang to receive a path clearance to Bendigo."
Mr Moore said the next visit to Kerang by a steam train would be on Saturday, June 11.
"The Northern Weekender will be passing through Kerang on its way to Swan Hill with steam locomotive R761 and vintage diesel locomotive S313 with a stop early Saturday morning to allow crews to service the locomotive and passengers to receive a scrumptious breakfast nearby," he said.
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