Drama on the Tamper.
The Tamper was to be taken from Gembrook to Belgrave, and an "S" notice had been distributed to provide for it to follow the last up train for the day. Dan O'Connor was rostered to drive the Tamper, a job that gave him no trouble until he got to Lakeside where he found a party of people who said they had missed the last train and were stranded there. Against his better judgement, he agreed to take them to Belgrave, and they all climbed aboard.
When they arrived at Emerald, they were held at the Home signal, and the signalman walked out to tell Dan that he would not be admitted as the "S" notice said Tamper only, and Dan was not authorized to enter Emerald with a passenger train. Negotiations continued, but when it started to get dark, Dan returned to Nobelius siding where he and his passengers could shelter under the verandah. Negotiations continued by telephone. In the morning, the matter was still not resolved. Dan said that if he was not going to be allowed to enter Emerald yard, then he would not give the staff up, so the traffic manager declared Pilotman Working between Emerald and the Lake, and had a clip put on the Nobelius Siding points.
As the week wore on, the negotiations continued. By Tuesday word had spread around that Dan's passengers were holding forged tickets, and that even if provisions were made for running the Tamper as a Passenger Train, there were doubts about carrying these particular passengers. Mel and the rest of the executive committee were giving this careful thought.
The Editor of Monthly News contacted John Robinson who pointed out that this sort of crisis never developed in his day.
Eventually, Mel completed negotiations with other tourist railways, and established agreement that Dan's passengers could be taken to other tourist railways where their tickets could be checked, and if the tickets were found to be valid they could complete their train trip from there. Thus two minibuses were hired, and half of Dan's passengers were taken to Queenscliff, and half to Maldon. As soon as the passengers had departed, a new "S" notice was drawn up, and the next morning Dan triumphantly entered Emerald yard after a week long ordeal.