In some ways, this photo signifies the end of the VR as we knew it. This was the last royal train run by VR. The two leading S class had run the 3 car train from Spencer Street to Ballarat with Princess Diana and Prince Charles on board. The 3rd S had run ahead of the train as a pilot loco, this photo shows the empty return working near the old site of Rowsley between Bacchus Marsh and Bank Box loop. The 3 S's were repainted for the occasion and if not the last were among the very last loco's ever painted in the classic blue and gold. April 15 1983.
The lead loco, S 315, would never look this good again. With little or no attention from when this photo was taken until it was withdrawn in 1988 it was scrapped in April 1992.