Success is getting what you want; happiness is liking what you get

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Part 2 – Grand Circle Rail Cruise

After travelling through the Wairarapa towns of Carterton and Featherston, we soon entered the 8.8km Rimutaka Tunnel.  A member of Steam Incorporated had been through all the carriages selling raffle tickets to help raise funds for the $30,000 needed to fit fire suppressors to their own DA diesel loco.  This job will be completed early next year, and then  it will no longer be necessary to hire out one of Kiwi Rail locos on future trips. Once through the tunnel and the train stopped at Maymorn Station for a photo op.  It was interesting to find that once through the tunnel and on the Hutt Valley side of the Rimutakas the weather was quite fine with not a drop of rain to be seen.

PC060039 Maymorn Station

It was rather like our old working days of our train commute Upper Hutt to Wellington, arriving to scenes of Wellington Harbour.  For quite some years we both worked in Wellington and travelled in and out by rail.

PC060045 Oriental Bay

Our train pulled into Platform No 9 at Wellington Station, and the two locos needed to be taken off the front of the train, which was now the back, shunted the short distance  and hooked up again.  These plans were foiled when a electric train expectantly arrived at Platform No 8.  After a bit of patient waiting, the train went on it’s way, and the shunting of the locos could get underway.
 PC060049 The electric unit finally moving away - now the loco shunting can begin

PC060052Kiwi Rail loco moving down the track, now it’s the turn of DA 1431 to be moved

PC060053This bloke made it all happen 

All the seats in our carriage were flipped over so that we continued our journey facing the front.  Then we were on our way again, through Tawa Tunnels No1 and No2, stopping at Paekakariki to let some of the passengers off the train.  Then through the familiar settlements of Te Horo, Manakau and Ohau.  Although we have travelled this route by road many times, it is quite a different perspective  looking at the view out of the carriage windows.  The train arrived back at Levin at 6.50pm, right on time, we were told.  What a great day, 360kms of rail travel, interesting commentaries, and good company.  What could be better.

PC060055 Merry Christmas

1 comment:

Marilyn McDonald said...

When I went to Toast Martinborough by train I was amazed by the beautiful scenery between Trentham and the Rimutaka Tunnel.

What a wonderful trip you had.

Cheers, Marilyn