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  • Latest Posts

    • I came across these photos taken in Oct-November 2005 (Spring) during my first trip up North before gricing in the Helensville Area. The photos were taken on the line that at one time linked Whangaeri with Opua a small port in the Bay of Islands and Okaihau the most northerly railway station in New Zealand, the line lost its passenger service in 1976 when the Whangaeri-Okaihau mixed train (Goods with Car) was withdrawn, the line to Opua had lost its passenger services in the 1950s. In 2005 log trains operated  "as required" usually daily between Otiria (Otiria Junction) and Whangarei, the lijnes from Otiria Junction to Okaihau was lifted following closure in the late 80s the Kawaka-Opua line was leased to the Bay of Islands Scenic Railway for a tourist railway operation. Northland has a subtropical climate with heavy rainfall which we experienced during our short holiday in the area.! Gabriel awaiting repair at Kawakawa. Like Fivemiletown on the Clogher Valley the railway runs down the center of the main street in this case State Highway 1 the main road North to South road between the most northerly and southerly points in New Zealand. Gabriel is named after Schull & Skibbereen No 1 and apparently is a 3'6" gauge version of the Irish loco, Peckett apparently built locos of the same design for use in South America. In 2000 the line had been shut down on safety grounds by the Government transport safety authority, fortunately the Vintage Railway recovered from this set back and has been progressively re-opening the line Gabriel once again hauling steam trains down Kawakawa Main Street https://www.bayofislandsvintagerailway.org.nz/ Raining heavily a pair of DFTs haul a Whangaeri bound log train State Highway 1 in the background. Typical Northland Country side with steep wood covered hillsides. I took this photo in poor lighting conditions in heavy rain which added to the atmosphere of the photo.     The Sun came out the following day another long heavy train. The wagons were mostly 4 wheelers in captive service in Northland between a Wood Chip plant near Whangarei and a number of loading points. Kiwirail decided to retire the 4 wheelers in 2016 and mothball the line to Otiria and a branch off the main line south of Whangaeri. 7049 in Bumble Bee colours departing Whangaeri with the evening freight for Auckland. The containers are 20' reefers most likely laden with butter for the UK & European market. DJ 3093 at Whangaeri Loco depot.  In 2005 Whangaeri had an interesting steam era depot with 1-2 locos allocated for shunting local industries, branch and main line trip working in connection with the local dairy and forestry industry. DJ 3093 was the sole remaining member of her class in Toll Rail ownership. DJs have an unusual BoBoBo wheel arrangement were built by Hitachi for use on lightly laid lines in the South Island, like the Irish Metrtovicks the class were smooth riding and had an excellent electrical system let down by a Caterpillar engine that proved troublesome in rail service. 3093 was converted into a heavy shunter while other members of the class were sold to the Taieri Gorge Railway a spectacular  tourist railway operation in Dunedin https://www.dunedinrailways.co.nz/our-journeys/taieri-gorge-railway?gclid=CjwKCAiA1L_xBRA2EiwAgcLKA8Qg8Pc8CjGZvv60ORuRiTsHPVznk-e400zlPsjZTtN5ngVG_l4s6RoCwigQAvD_BwE.   Motive power line up at Whangaeri with a pair of DFT in Tranz Rail Cato Blue, a DC (rebuilt EMD G12 Export Model) in NZR 1980s Fruit salad scheme & 3093. The DFTs are most likely have worked or are about to work a log train on the Otiria line, the DC for main or branch line trip working and 3093 for shunting in the Whangaeri area. At the time rail served local industries included a large Dairy Plant at Kauri north of Whangaeri, cold stores on the Whangaeri Harbour Branch and a woodchip plant at Portland. Drewry shunting locomotive at Portland. Two privately owned Drewry locomotives basically a narrow gauge version of the BR 04 were used for shunting at the woodchip plant, which usually received two train loads of logs daily and dispatched containers of woodchips on the morning freight to Auckland. Portland (not surprisingly!) is the site of a large cement works which had its own internal railway system which connected with the main line and a private quay, Gabriel was originally owned by the Dominion Portland Cement Company and used for shunting at the works before finding her way into preservation. Matching Pair!  At the time this photo caused something of a stir and made it to the Home Page of a New Zealand Locomotive news group as locos in matching liveries were extremely rare during late Toll Rail operation of the railway system. The lead loco in the consist is a DC the trailing loco a DFT. The DCs were 1980s rebuilds of the EMD G12 Standard Export model with 12 cylinder (non-turbocharged) 645 engines and though lower powered than the DFT extremely reliable with a reasonable number still running in the Fruit Salad colour scheme following their re-building. The locos are working a shunt from the Kauri Dairy plant to Whangaeri, where the loco consist was split. The DFT was turned to work the evening freight to Westfield yard Auckland, the DC worked part of the trains consist to a cold or dry goods store on the Harbour Branch. Rail continues to be used for short haul work moving diary products between the processing plants and warehousing and distribution centers in addition to long distance line haul work from distribution centers to ports.  
    • Have that model. Far too big for 00. I don't think there's a scale printed on the box, but going by UK forums on these Lledo and Lledo derived diecasts, many are an odd scale of 1:60.  
    • Apparently huskies can be bullying and relentlessly aggressive, maybe because they're somewhat 'closer to nature' than the average pooch!
    • Excellent!  Here's a vid of the layout, as the embedded one in the story doesn't appear to work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mP8qxofTqsE
    • I used to 'look after' some rented houses for various oversees-dwelling owners. The main skill is to get the right tenants, and the absentee landlords just had to trust me. I needed a new set for one house and had some prospective tenants come round - i had got pretty good at assessing things, and had decided straight away that they were OK, but there was a subject that they were finding hard to bring up - there were three of them - a local lad, his Romanian girlfriend and her cousin - the cousin, it turned out, had a dog, a Husky - would that be a problem? "Certainly not" (it would be something for me to pop round and play with when they were at work)... Anyway, as they were moving in, I still had a few little jobs to finish - but the dog was in the back garden and spotted me in the house on my own - that was it! From that day on, it wanted to kill me - genuinely. A couple of years after they left, I went round to their new place and the dog, though unable to see me through the garden wall, smelt me getting out of the car in the road. It's the only dog that has ever hated me - and there is just no compromise to be had over the matter.
  • Recent Status Updates

    • Patrick Jameson  »  WRENNEIRE

      Hello Wrenneire, 
      I gather from a post you made back in 2017, that you may have a Backwoods miniatures kit of the LLSR Hudswell Clarke 4-8-0 tender locomotive? I also have one but with no instructions! 
      I was wondering if you would mind helping me out, by scanning or photographing each page of the instructions and emailing them to me? I would be very grateful as I’m in such a bind with this kit. I’m sure you know how complicated they can be.
      Email: pat.jaya185@gmail.com
      kindest regards 
      · 0 replies
    • Paul john  »  WRENNEIRE

      Thanks for that information  I get a set of the class 92 buffers
      · 0 replies
    • leslie10646  »  jhb171achill

      Saw what? The AEC?
      Yes, not very detailed, but a quick win for a second set?
      PS I'll let you know how I get on with it
      · 2 replies
    • Kitchenerg

      I have done a bit more with my 4mm SLNCR layout.
      WP_20180317_19_37_40_Pro (1).mp4

      · 1 reply
    • Bob229

      Hello as a newby to the forum, would anyone know the days/times when the Liner trains depart Ballina,  Thanks 
      · 3 replies
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