A huge day planned

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In Training Down Under.
Well after a month or so of waiting I'm off on my rail journey today, IN the cab!! Sitting here having and coffee and breakfast with nervous excitement.

This where I'm heading, freight train up to Kaikoura, wait for the passenger train from Picton which we're bringing back to Christchurch.

About a 9 hour day.

Full report and some photo's later.



In Training Down Under.
Right sorry about the delay, Brigettes birthday 2day.

Beautiful day for a train trip, started at the Middleton yards around 10.30 ( they really look like what I'm trying to model )




The view straight ahead of me as we eased out of the yard heading for the main line and then onto the north single track


We where running really light, two locos, we shut the second one off, and six flat cars

Darryl my engineer for the day, old GE loco not sure what model.


Our first stop we are sitting in the loop waiting on this train from picton.
This train coming round the corner asked us what happened to the rest of our train!! Cheeky.


An interesting system they use, no signal lights for track clearance, just radio train control in Wellington, they issue a track warrant for as far as they think you'll get before meeting another train. Then you are told to sit in the hole and wait.

Our gauge is so narrow ( 3' 6" ) that I'm hanging out over the water!! scary!!


We have met the Pacific ocean, the tracks run along the beach (nearly) up
the coast, constant maintenance keeps it running.


Back inland for a bit and our first tunnel 983 metres.


2nd rail tunnel and two tunnels for the main north south highway. They had to cut the highway tunnels at the top to get bigger truck/ containers thru.


same tunnel I think? it runs right next to the road but is cut into the hillside so they built vents into it to let steam ( in those days ) out


My arts fartsy shot!!


Tunnel number 3, when they were building it colapsed in the middle so they ran the rail round the hill, but didn't rename the rest of the tunnels so it's still number 3!!


Kaikoura, if you ever wanna see some whales up close this is da place.
passenger station is still used too.


Our destination. The red light indicates we have to take the loop, stop here and unlock the small box middle of pic, pushbutton moves the points and gives a yellow light.


My ride


Our return journey in the passenger train. Purple light indicates turnout is set for the main (us)


Two locos and 8 passenger cars ( a big train )


Thats about my day, had a couple of close calls with stupid motorists!! but along pull on the horn wakes them up

I took some video of the rock n roll of the loco but it's not to good, boy I thought we would derail at times it really bounced around

Hope you enjoyed my day.

Darryl has asked if I want to go to the other coast on the passenger train ( I said yes!! ) so that's coming up soon I hope.

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grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Waaaay Cool! :cool:

On the pic with the RR tunnel and two highway tunnels, is that a 4th bore to the far right of the pic?


In Training Down Under.
Yeah guys I was excited, really nice way to spend the day. Eric I'm not sure about that other hole, I looked on the original photo, but it's too shadowy to tell. Next time I'm up that way I'll look.



WOW, Ken! That is absolutely railfantastic!
Thank you for sharing a great trip with us. Did you get to blow the horn...just once...maybe...?:D :D

Saw a New Zealand travelogue on the Travel channel about a week ago. It was from your shores, to the snow cap mountains, to a big sink hole in a national park. The hostess was your Lady Prime Minister. She sure is athletic and did rock climbing, repelling, skiing, and etc...
What a beautiful country!! ;)


In Training Down Under.
No blowing of the horn:( But I did have to watch out for the signal from the train manager (conductor) when we were ready to pull out of Kaikoura. His RT went flat so we went to manual mode!!:D

Our PM, ugly as s.. but boy shes done alot for this country.

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In Training Down Under.
Well guys I'm back from another cab ride, this time on the Midland line (the one I'm modelling, sort of) Runs Through the Southern Alps to Greymouth.

Just a few photo's this time, a dark overcast day, in the mountains!

A few of the tunnels have a 25 kmph speed limit because they are very tight, if the loco rocks to much they scrape the tunnel.

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In Training Down Under.
One of the tunnels I couldn't get a photo of is Otira tunnel 8.5 Kms long 1:33 grade, cab passengers have to sit with the paying passengers because of the risk of fumes.

On the return trip up the tunnel a hydraulic door shuts behind the train and three huge fans start up to suck the fumes out, the wind speed is enormous it would blow you over!!

5 loco's are used to pull the coal trains up the grade.

The stop at Stillwater is where the single line automatics end and we need a track warrant from train control to proceed.



In Training Down Under.
Who left the turnout set for the loop!!! intermediate signal was yellow a mile or two back.

Old building was a string factory, outside pulley drives on the roof.

Chinese sleepers.

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In Training Down Under.
grande man said:
Those are some COOL pics. :cool: What does the blue signal indicate?

The blue indicates the turnout is set for us (purple is the right line)

This for the warrant system only, the automatic single line is green yellow red like most other systems.



S.L.O.&W. Trainman
Cool!!!!! Great photo op! I wish the local Finger Lakes Scenic Railroad would let people ride in the cab. I might even end up liking some diseasals.


Knowing you had great fun. (Dang! I am still s-o-o-o envious)
I really enjoy seeing the pictures...well...the jury is still out on the self-portrait:eek::D:D.

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