Monday, October 05, 2009

On tour; A day out in sunny Southland

Yes, the title is correct, your roving correspondent has not been at the moonshine (yet) today. Today was one of those beautiful 'blue dome days' and as the in-laws had some jobs to do out in Nightcaps, we were off on tour.

Nightcaps is the last remnant of the once vast collection of branchlines that wandered all over ancient Southland. Its sole reason for still existing is the vast reserves of coal that hide under all that green grass and black cows. Today we find DFT 7199 with more than 10 UK's parked at the loading bank, (which I think is way back round the corner,I didn't go looking for it). I couldn't see any sign of a run around loop, so the train must have been backed up from somewhere.

'Bastard could have parked it in the sun!'

Then its on to Wairio, home of the Ohai railway board. I had forgotten its also home to a (by the looks of it) failed preservation group. The yard track has pretty much gone. There's a handful of wagons (a Zp, Lc top, La and 3 ballast wagons plus an Xa top). There were a couple of diesel shunters in a shed that I could sort of see through the windows, but couldn't get any photo's

'How to recreate a disused railway yard'

There were 2 surprises. The first was the remains of a P class 2-8-0 sitting outside one of the sheds.
I was unaware that any other's of this class had been rescued apart from the 2 at Dunedin. The more interesting find was a clerestory 44' Addington car ex the Ohai railway board and still in virtually original condition. A quick inspection (the locals were becoming suspicious and starting to look for the torches and pitchforks) and some pictures revealed that the ends are very similar to the 1898 A carriage that is being restored in Nelson (the doors and end platforms look remarkably similar).
The odd thing is that there appears to be no rails leading to the shed, so for the time ebing its trapped. there are supposed to be 2 coaches but there was no sign of the other one (though I didn't have a good hunt as people were waiting)

That's the current update, hopefully will have another one from Timaru in a couple of days.


Gummy-Joe said...

From Wikipedia, re: the P class:

"Multiple members of the class are known to have been dumped in rivers to provide riverbank stability and halt erosion, and two of these (P 25 and P 107) were recovered from the Clutha River in 1992 by Project Steam of Dunedin. Roughly a decade later, another two members of the P class (P 60 and P 133) were recovered from the Oreti River near the Wairio Branch and are in the possession of the Ohai Railway Board Heritage Trust."

What doesn't it know?

Motorised Dandruff said...

Probably not much.

I only saw 1 loco there today and no sign of the second, though it might have been in better condition and in a shed somewhere.

I was part of the team that recovered the first 2 for project steam.

Amateur Fettler said...

I seem to recall there is film (broadcast on the evening news) of you leaning on a shovel??

Motorised Dandruff said...

I was far more lucky. I got to wear firemans wet weather gear and run the firehouse. From memory it was wet and cold.