Well we have now jumped over to our milk season roster, and eagerly await the first milk trains to start running, which wont be long now according to the boss.
Ommmm Ommmmmmmmmmm.... Some OM's have come up for CIP testing.
Some OM's have already arrived for cleaning, and are being used to do pre-season tests of the CIP system. This is a time for the maintenance staff and specialists to pour over the whole process and milk siding, tweaking and tutuing at will..... why they leave it all to the week before the milkies are about to start is beyond me!??
5068 ex 520 this morning sitting in a blob of light and a puddle.
I booked on at 4am and took a car south to find 526, which I ultimately ended up boarding at Easttown. I had DXB5120 and DC4219 with 879t and 375m of train. This is quite a bit more than the average 526 normally carries, but this increase in traffic is thanks entirely to Maersk!.
Maersk have stopped sending boats to New Plymouth, so a great deal of the containers that normally land in NP off the boat are now being railed into the region. Apparently there was another full train load of Maersk imports in Auckland trying to find its way here too.
This is a pleasing situation in my mind. The shipping company has ceased sending its boats, so the import and export tonnage is now being moved by rail.
The extra tonnage and the rain certainly made the old girls work for their money this morning!
At rest after a hard mornings slog.
One of the better DC's in the region.
For some reason 5068 (ex 520 this morning) was just positively glowing in the mid morning light...
After servicing my locos I took the time to wander up the top end of the yard for a look at progress on the new gas siding. According the plan, trucks will pull up alongside the rail wagons and transfer their explosive contents via some sort of transfer pumps.
New gas siding. Large silver tanks in background will supply water for sprinklers.
LPG tankers such as the one above are a common sight here now. They will use the new siding once completed to fill UCG's and 20 foot ISO gas tanks.
A pair of Nova's gas tanks getting a bit of a tart up.
Lastly we have a couple of photos of the active DSC's in New Plymouth.
2543 is the gantry mule, pushing wagons to and fro under the gantry as transhipping needs dictate. The photo below shows its recent paint "enhancements" after a couple of locals broke into the place the other weekend.
And at the bottom in DSC 2569, on hire to Ravensdown for shunting their fert stores..
With the prospect of more tonnage coming this way by rail, train numbers and lengths may very well increase between Whareroa and New Plymouth!
DSC2543 on Gantry duties. Once the work of a TR, as tonnages increased, so did the need for more horsepower.
DSC 2569 working the fert stores. On hire from the railways.