Eagle-eyed staff on the Taieri Gorge Railway managed to
locate the iPhone belonging to Spencer Sutherland Todd, who
''panicked'' and pulled the train's emergency lever
yesterday afternoon. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
A Dunedin teen brought the Taieri Gorge tourist train to
a shuddering stop yesterday - after dropping his iPhone.
''I pulled the emergency thing that you only pull in extreme
emergencies,'' a visibly relieved Spencer Sutherland Todd
said yesterday, at the Dunedin Railway Station.
The 13-year-old was on the railway trip with his family and
some visiting Australian friends when he decided to take a
picture of the Mt Allan scenery on his iPhone.
But his quick snap turned into a teenage horror movie, when
he dropped the phone he was given for Christmas two years
''It is very important to me.''
His family watched in disbelief as Spencer pulled the
''I just panicked and pulled,'' he said.
The train stopped about 700m from where he dropped the phone,
and staff undertook a quick but unsuccessful search, before
saying they would look for it on the return trip.
Spencer said he did not expect to see his phone again, but to
his amazement, an eagle-eyed staff member spotted it on the
return journey. It was presented undamaged to Spencer, amid
applause from his fellow passengers.
''I was very happy,'' he said.
Taieri Gorge Railway chief executive Murray Bond said using
the train's emergency lever was ''not encouraged ... usually
only in the event of a disaster''.
''Not the sort of thing we encourage, but this worked out
''That is the spirit of Taieri Gorge Railway; that we do
things other companies won't necessarily do.''