I've been spending quite a bit of time in Palmerston North at the moment as KiwiRail look to move the Traction Control room down to Wellington. My part of the project was building some new server racks in the communications hub at the station while avoiding being blamed for everything else from link failures to lack of salt in tomato sandwiches by the local techs.
The chance came up one afternoon to change the channels on the tunnel radio system for Turakina, so I jumped at the chance to get away from punching Cat5 cable for a few hours and headed out into the hinterland.
Here is our destination, the radio hut above the eastern end of the Turakina tunnel (starring Ian's backside...)
The tunnel system works on what is called a "leaky coax" which is effectively an unshielded cable running the length of the tunnel that is used as an aerial for the VHF system (you can see it looping over the tunnel mouth in the photo above).
This is the tunnel mouth from track level showing the radio hut, the coax coming down into the tunnel mouth and the Track Warrant Loop sign for the Ruatangata crossing loop down the other end. The pole beside the hut is the yagi antenna for the UHF link back to either Hunterville or Palmerston Nth (cant remember which). And BTW, this was all taken from gated private land and I was "working"....so be warned!
This is the bridge over the Turakina river. Drew wanted me to scope it out as a photo location, but I dont think its going to work as the sun will always be on the "wrong side" as shown by where the shadow as falling.
Anyway, what got me thinking about this is its worthiness as a "scene worth modelling". The bridge makes a nice showpiece while view blocks are provided at each end by the lush trees and the tunnel mouth. Could be just the thing for a set of the MMW module ends?