One of the highlights of passing through a train station or transport interchange on a regular basis is passing by people handing out free samples. Yesterday at Central Station there were not only people from Cadbury handing out free chocolate, but there was also a 1913 era steam train (a 2705 steam locomotive), restored in the purple Cadbury colours as part of its Joyville marketing campaign.
I was tipped off about it a few days beforehand via a cryptic tweet and allowed to ride in one of the carriages on the train between Central and Sydenham, with a stop at Redfern Station, before it returned to Central Station.
There were a few other rail enthusiasts on board, some of whom had gotten up at 5AM to get in early for some photos of the steam train arriving. The train did 3 runs: 10AM, 12PM and 4PM. We were on the midday one.
Also present was a band that played music. I didn’t get a very good shot of them at Redfern or Sydenham as we mostly had to stay inside the train, but I was able to film them for a little bit at Central. At Redfern there was a purple mat that they stood on, and luckily a train stopped on the other side of the platform and dropped off a bunch of passengers who were able to see them play and grab some chocolate, as it was only at Redfern and Sydenham for a few minutes in order to fit in with the train timetable.
In between stations I managed to have a bit of a walk inside the train. This is the first time I’d been on a steam train, and it was quite luxurious. Clearly rail was the chosen mode of travel by those able to afford it 99 years ago, with big seats and tables for everyone. There were even framed photos on the walls as decorations.
And of course there was the reason all of this was here – the free chocolate!