Fifty years ago, on Saturday 11 October 1969, regular steam passenger trains last ran on the Southern Main Line – and many locals gathered at Macarthur stations to watch them depart.
Two famous green class c38 locomotives were working on the last steam trains from Sydney Central Station, both leaving on Friday October 10 and returning the following morning.
One train traveled to Moss Vale, while the other went to Goulburn.
The last scheduled steam train from Sydney Station on the Southern Line was number 19, the “Southern Highlands Express” to Goulburn.
The express departed from the central No. 1 platform. Green steam locomotive number 3801 hauled the express to Goulburn.
It was a cold, cloudy morning when 3813 departed Moss Vale, with passenger train number 50 from Moss Vale bound for Central with the last steam service.
This train has always been called “The Moss Vale Passenger”.
There were banners flying from the windows of the cars, and many onlookers and photographers were present along the way to witness the historic occasion.
Locomotive number 3801 returned to Central the following morning, ending the era of steam which had served the railway since the first passenger train operated in New South Wales from Sydney to Parramatta on 26 September 1855.