Sunday, November 18, 2012


So, there's an excursion from Fielding to taihape and back hauled by Ab663. Now I have many failed attempts under my belt to actually photograph excursion trains, and this one started no differently. I keep forgetting that to go west out of Palmerston North, one first has to traipse across Palmerston North. To cap it all off the chariot demanded fuel. So, the plan is to get to the Rangitiki bridge the other side of Halcome. I had previously scoped out this spot, and it seemed like as good a time as any to try it out. The train is due at Marton at 4:15, and Fielding at 4:40. So, at 4:15 I'm at Fielding with the target location being the other side of 1/2 way to Marton, and the sky a selection of shades of grey. Optimistically I continue, but decide to take a back road that follows the railway just in case. an interesting drive and I pull up at a commanding spot and ponder waiting here. No sign of any smoke so I decide to push on. The kilometers wind off with no sign of a train round any of the road corners and so I make it too the bridge. Wonder if I have missed it somewhere in passing. . The plan is to walk down the west bank and onto the river flat. Its so windy that I can't hear anything train like coming down the hill.

1st problem.... theres a bit much water around

'Its flat, but....'
 However I do notice a track down onto the flat from the other side. Away we go.

 As I'm crossing the bridge, I notice a car ahead of me pull off the road. A guy hops out of the car with a camera the size of a small south pacific nation. So, I'm not too late. I barrel down towards the river past them, and turn off. Some bastard appears to have blocked the access way. There's nothing to it but walk.

 OK, so here's the view.

Walking a bit closer gives me this.

 I decide on a spot about 1/2 way between the 2. All the time I can hear the train moving down the hill. These steam excursions do not make much noise and suddenly here it is.

In retrospect Its a bit far away, but at least the suns out.

 Returning to the car, I find this spot which could well have resulted in a far nicer picture, if only I had looked behind me.

The decision is then made to head back to Fielding and catch the train along the railway reserve at some point. And this works too.

'Classic leaving shot there'

 Down at the station the train is moved off the main line. I was going to write quickly, but by the time its headed down to the far end of the yard and back a good 20 minutes have passed.

 The sound of crossing bells announces another train, this time an express freight from Dorkland that barrels through at a great rate of knots.

'Its OK, I'm standing in a carpark'
I decide to try something arty, despite the fact I only have a 1 in 5 chance of shooting at the right time between moving 40' containers

'Ta Dah'
 Finally the loco gets put away, and I head home.


0-4-4-0T said...

I find it really hard to get decent train shots - even with an organised photo run-by on a rail excursion. My best shots are often taken of trains reversing slowly prior to a photo run-by. That way I can get a properly composed image with an unhurried shot. Doesn't help much with train chasing photos, though...

beaka said...

I must admit I really like that red on the FM? Van

Motorised Dandruff said...

Its the way they were 25 years ago.