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F13 at Ferrymead   F13 Peveril at the Ferrymead Railway

Ferrymead Railway is run by the Canterbury Railway Society .  It has a good length of track, with some very neat stations, signals, signal boxes etc. on the site of the first proper railway track in New Zealand.  Interestingly enough, the whole of Canterbury was originally laid in a Broad gauge track.  Ferrymead Railway are perhaps best known for the vast amount of Railway paraphernalia (including Loco's) that they have managed to store and/or restore over the years.  This includes F13, a.k.a. Peveril, seen here taking water at the Ferrymead loco depot.


  The Weka Pass Railway own the Glenmark Railway station, and the track through to their station at Waikari. They are nice examples of a small rural NZR stations. They have done a remarkable job of restoring the loco, it really is in pristine condition. The surprising thing is that they are not afraid to let it get dirty - in NZR service the usual condition (in later years anyway) could only be described as "grimy" !
A428 at Weka Pass Railway


  A64 at the Plains Railway Museum

The Plains Railway Museum is a good example of a good Museum run by friendly enthusiasts.  They will go out of their way to help, and have a great site.  Like Ferrymead, the have a living museum exhibit with period shops, houses and the like.  There is also an attached Traction Engine section  They usually run a Vulcan Railcar, and this wee beast.  It is a Dubs A Class (not to be confused with the later and completely different A class running at Weka Pass).  This is the most fun you can have with a live steam loco and a video camera.  Because it is so small, it is very accessible - stand on the carriage platform and you are literally right behind the driver.  Try doing that in an Ab... 
Note:  Photograph Copyright A.M Greenwood

This Vulcan Railcar holds the official rail speed record of 75 mph, although this speed was (allegedly) beaten quite regularly by the Ja hauled South Island Expresses.  If this doesn't impress you, the Steam speed record for this gauge is (IIRC) about 90 mph.  The gauge is only 3'6", so 90 mph would be quite exciting.  One American opinion that I have read reckons the Ja should be able to beat this, but I guess we will never know.  NZGR was more about community service than speed records - ah, the good ol' days.

This is the station at the Plains Railway Museum.

Vulcan Railcar


J1211 at Rolleston  

The Mainline Steam Trust
was formed specifically to restore and run large locomotives on mainline excursions.  This is one of their gems, J1211.  The Trust has gained a reputation for doing things out of the ordinary.  In J1211's case, they have returned it to near original Streamlined condition, and named it "Gloria".  This is one of the better still shots that I have taken - Kodak 25  is a nice film!


  Kowhai Viaduct is just west of Springfield,  in the foothills of the Southern Alps. This is Ka942, taken in July 1997.  Not a brilliant shot, but then, I've never claimed to be a brilliant photographer!
Ka942 over Kowhai viaduct


  Ka942, Kowhai Viaduct
Same, place, same loco, different angle, three years prior.  Not too easy to get to this spot..
  Steam Incorporated are a North Island based group who have a number of Loco's.  The only ones that have ventured down this neck of the woods (that I know of) are Ka945, Ja1271 and J1234. This magnificent loco is the recently restored Ja1271.  The New Zealand built Ja's were, to my mind, the best looking New Zealand loco's.  The near identical North British built ones have a different headlamp which seems out of proportion to me.  This shot was taken at the Ashburton Railway Station in 1997.
Ja1271 at Ashburton



A few miles inland from Timaru is the small town of Pleasant Point.  It is appropriately named, and I'm not just saying that because my Grandmother came from there - in fact there is a Keane's Crossing and Keane's Cottage named after that branch of the family. 

There used to be a branch line that ran through the town, when it was closed the locals saved a mile of it. They obtained and restored Ab699, which was a typical sort of Loco on the line.  Here it is masquerading as Ab718, which pulled the last train to run when the line was in NZR ownership. 

This photo shows the beautifully restored signal box, next to the station.  Climb into the box for a great video shot of the train pulling into the station.



One of the most successful tourist trains in New Zealand (and certainly the prettiest) is the Kingston Flyer operation.  Based at the small town of Kingston, at the foot of Lake Wakatipu, these precious few kilometres of track are the remains of the Lumston to Kingston Branch line.  The rake of Carriages is an exceptional piece of history in themselves.  They include a full length "Birdcage" coach, properly known as a Gallery car.  They have two beautiful Ab class loco's, 795 (this one) and 778.

Ab795 at Kingston

  JG Models Ab608 How's this for a "ducky" model shot!  The model is mine, it's Ab608 made from a JG Models kit.  It's the first loco model I made (took me two years of what I laughingly call spare time) and is not quite as "straight" as I prefer.  The real loco is Ab778, which was out of action for Tender repairs (this was in November  '97).
  Just to prove that it's not just about locomotives, here is the beautiful Dunedin Railway Station. The jewel in a very pretty city. Dunedin Railway Station

The tiled interior is well worth a look. While you're in Dunners, go and see Ovelston. Oh, and the Cadbury factory!


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  (c) Copyright Brian Greenwood 2012