- 707 Operations Inc - Mainline Steam Train Trips in Victoria
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The story of Seven-0-Seven Operations Inc and our moving museum goes back to 1980 when a committee of six people (Lyn Helsby, Alan Jones, Peter Martin, Rodney Martin and Neil Tait) formed themselves into a group under the name of 'Plan R'. Inspections of steam locomotive R707 were made at Newport where it had laid in storage for the 6 years since its removal from service. Although it looked to be in a very dilapidated condition on the exterior, closer examination revealed that it was largely superficial and was mechanically in fair condition.

Proposals were then forwarded to the General Manager of VicRail regarding its restoration. Agreements were then put into place and R707 was placed in the old tarpaulin shop, and it was here in February 1981 that the all-volunteer workforce began work on the actual restoration.

The locomotive was dismantled and the complete overhaul began on the boiler, the frame wheels and axles, the cab fittings, smoke box, cylinders, motion gear and the tender. Late in 1984, R707 was steam tested in the presence of the DLI Inspector. Having passed all these tests R707 was almost complete. Final adjustments were made, and then began the task of painting the locomotive and tender in its original livery as delivered.

And so, on the 20th July 1985, R707 was returned to service when she ran a trip to Bacchus Marsh and return. 2015 marks 30 years of operations of R707 by Seven - O - Seven Operations Inc.

In order to cater for R707's future service the name Plan R was changed to Seven - O - Seven Operations Inc. In 1992 the home of Seven - O - Seven Operations Inc was relocated and today we are situated in Roads 7 and 8 of the Newport Workshops West Block.

Since those early days Seven - O - Seven Operations Inc has expanded and today in addition to R707 we have expanded our rollingstock fleet to include a range of heritage diesel locomotives, as well as a fleet of historic Victorian, South Australian and New South Wales Government railways carriages, including sitting carraiges, sleeper carraiges, club, lounge and dining car carriages. All of which we have restored and continue to maintain as part of our moving museum collection.

707 Operations at 7 and 8 Roads, Newport West Block Workshops. 05/01/2009. P.Dupree.

The above is merely a pocket history of Seven - O - Seven Operations Inc. To find out more about the group and our activities as a moving museum please explore this website and do not hesitate to contact us if we have kindled your interest in Victoria's railway heritage and you would like to be a part of its future.

Last Updated: 19 April 2022