Yay! There is now an UP train in the afternoon north of Whareroa in the form of 528. It gets into Whareroa around 3pm before heading north. 
Whats better is that its a regular feature on our roster and is a nice change to the "regular" afternoon shifts.
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528 on the main at Whareroa with 547 on the loop next door.
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Waiting at Te Roti for 52 shunt to get out the way.
Normally when 528 runs, so does its return number 529, but today 529 was cancelled and I had a sweet wee shift.

I took 528 through to New Plymouth, crossing 521 at Stratford, after having to wait at Te Roti for 52 shunt to clear out of the way.  The last few days there has only been no more than 6 wagons and one loco on 528, but today there was 500m and 700t, complete with two DFT's. And although 7092 was hauled out of the fitters shop with bits hanging off it and only running at half power (due to loco shortages) the pair went exceptionally well, with 7322 on the point riding like dream and was pleasantly rattle free.
It was a fabulous hoon north, but only the briefest of visits to New Plymouth as the locos became the power for 523, so we pulled in, cut off, ran round the triangle, backed onto 523, did a brake test and zoomed out again. 
I picked up a minder driver and his trainee in New Plymouth due to some cock up which saw their train cancelled and their loco sent away on 521 so they had to go home on 523.  As there was a trainee present, he was promptly plonked in the hot seat and I rode shotgun back to Stratford, where I picked up the fleet car and drove back to Whareroa.... sweet... job done. 
Back to normality tomorrow with another few days on 547 - 544 etc .
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4611 was used on 52 shunt during the day then went south with 523.
Gathering up my things at Stratford, the yard was totally empty save for a lone DC that was just calling out to be photographed.... it would be rude not to and I just know I would regret it if I didnt, so I bagged a couple of snaps for posterity. 
4611 was gathered up and included into 523 to go south tonight. Tomorrow a different DC will come up on 520 to take its place.
I am still smarting after karma kicked my arse the other day when 4070 rolled up on the front of 544 in the glorious sunshine and I had forgotten to put the memory card back in my camera..... grrrrrr.....

Now I am REALLY paranoid about taking my camera to work, knowing damn well I will miss something if I dont hahaha..

As you were.

AH
Ev
2/23/2012 01:51:36 am

I saw you were on 528/529 but couldnt work out where they fitted into the schedule. As you say, good to see more freight about....any idea what the sudden need is for?

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BP
2/23/2012 08:50:58 pm

Meant to be for tonnage to/from Port of Taranaki I believe.
So far 529 has been cancelled far more than it has run and as Andrew mentioned 528 has generally been short and light. Quite a bit of tonnage on 528 again today though.

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Scooter
2/23/2012 11:30:19 pm

So its a run between Whareroa and NP only?

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AH
2/25/2012 12:15:28 pm

Scooter, 528 runs from Palmerston North to New Plymouth, but word is it "gets in the way" (poor programming) and creates loco issues at both ends and they are looking at getting rid of it all together I believe.

AH

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BP
2/25/2012 08:45:45 pm

528 isn't so bad, but 529 certainly has the potential to get in the way.
If both 529 and 523 run you end up with a procession heading south of Whareroa of 547, 521, 529, 523 and if 548 is running good luck threading that through in the opposite direction.

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