By Jeremy Sollars
Southern Downs Steam Railway stalwart Bob Keogh has been honoured for his years of dedication to the group by having its signature locomotive named after him, at a ceremony held at its Hamilton Street headquarters in Warwick this morning, Thursday 21 June.
The SDSR’s C17 971 loco – hitherto affectionately known as the ‘Downs Dasher’ and the ‘Brown Bomber’ – now carries a new official moniker, with a bright green plaque mounted on the side of its cab bearing Bob’s name.
Bob is stepping aside from the SDSR for health reasons and his years of service to one of Warwick’s top tourist attractions were recognised by his fellow steam enthusiasts – including recent Order of Australia Medal recipient and good mate John Brady – and former Southern Downs MP and SDSR patron Lawrence Springborg.
The C17 was found two decades ago languishing in a park at Chinchilla and through countless hours of volunteer work and old-fashioned blood, sweat and tears was lovingly brought back to life by Bob and the SDSR crew.
It now hauls the Railway’s rolling stock – and around 4000 passengers a year – across the Southern Downs and Granite Belt, from Clifton to Wallangarra and all points in between, with the SDSR recognised nationally as one of Australia’s foremost steam rail operations.
Well done to Bob from all of us here at the Free Times – and to find out more visit www.southerndownssteamrailway.com.au