I spent a lot of time shuffling up and down the line between Whareroa and Wanganui last week, and naturally during the course of each day there were opportunities to grab a photo or two for posterity.  
Sometimes I wonder if I dont have some sort of O.C.D and sad addiction as I just cant help but take photos! Its not just at work though, as my family and friends will attest - Drew always has a camera with him...... maybe I am unknowingly part Japanese??

That said, despite my addiction I think my life is quite balanced despite the Palmy driver I changed over with on Friday calling me a "sad c*nt" when I pulled out my camera.....

Talking of camera's, this week I left the trusty Canon at home and took my wifes new Fuji Finepix XP50 instead to see what it can do. All the photos in this post were taken with it and I think it has not done too bad a job. The XP50 is apparently waterproof to 5m, shock proof, and an all round rough'n'tumble camera that is touted to be able to take the knocks and such - perfect for a clumsy train driver such as myself.
I have found it takes some fine pictures, but looses its depth of field pretty quickly when zoomed in on a scene. Low light is ok provided you can get it to focus on something and have a tripod or substitute handy. Its here that my Canon excels and is a lot more "driveable" if you will.

Anyways, below is a bit of a round up of the weeks efforts....
Picture
Pre dawn at Patea with 543, waiting to cross 540.
Picture
Changed over onto 526, 543 pulls into the loop at Kai Iwi.
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Tamper 214 in the service siding at Kai Iwi.
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Regulator 296 also hiding at Kai Iwi.
Picture
543 on the grade at Waitotara.
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Rusty Red Rocket 4571 on the front of my 526.
Picture
526 at Patea.
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545 on Waitotara hill.
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528 pulls up on the loop at East Town, Wanganui. 545 on the main.
Picture
Ahh the cheesy wedge :-)
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I was the first train to be officially signalled through the CTC at Manutahi :-) (small things I know...)
Picture
Green up! Points are "high speed" and we are allowed to do 40km/h through them when leaving the loop. (only low speed when entering though)
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521 departing Stratford.
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Ex Auckland ratty bucket of bolts. Sounded great though and had working dynamic brakes! (woot!)
Picture
Classic GM power humming away. (Patea)
This week at work is a bit hodge-podge so until next time..

AH
Stewie G
11/4/2012 05:27:27 pm

"Points are "high speed" and we are allowed to do 40km/h through them when leaving the loop. (only low speed when entering though)"

Why is this AH?, You would think that they would be good for 40 kph in either direction.

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AH
11/4/2012 05:52:25 pm

Kiwi Rail are suffering from a chronic case of "as cheap as possible" and thus the signaling at Manutahi is not true CTC but some wish washy half breed mud blood system. Instead of installing two 3 colour light units on the signals to direct traffic into the loop, they have opted for the much cheaper method of using a "low speed" light unit below a single 3 colour light unit instead, svaing hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is why we are to adhere to a 25km/h speed limit entering the loop, because we are being signaled in on a low speed......
Still, its better than the hand operated points and multiple track warrants the old regime called for!

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Scooter
11/6/2012 07:57:18 pm

For someone who doesnt totally understand the signalling, can you tell me how you would now whether you would be heading into the loop or staying on the main on those Manutahi signals?

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Ev
11/6/2012 02:09:23 pm

That Kai Iwi shot is a good'un....

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11/10/2012 07:45:16 pm

More great drool material Andrew. Totally agree - that Kai Iwi one of 543 into the loop very atmospheric, just like being there.

As for the signal into Manutahi, that entrance signal is a stop and stay, and you'd know if signalled for the loop because the main light would be red and the A light (slow speed light whatever) would be lit.

The photo shows the loop points are for main, main light is red, the A light is off, so the train has to stop.

The train is either waiting for a green (Go straight through) or, the points to change and A light to come on meaning go on to the loop, slow speed like. Think that's the way the cheap version works.

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scooter
11/11/2012 11:47:06 pm

Cheers Steve. Thanks for that

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