No witty text or thought provoking spiels here, just some photos from a West Coast summer sortie back in January of 2010.
When that West Coast weather turns it on its simply unbeatable!
The Gods (both Weather and Railfan) were smiling on me this day.
An empty coalie has just arrived at Stilwater for loading. The 30 wagon consists are too long for the loading siding so the train is split in half.
The first half of the train is backed down to the loading bank.
Mmm 24 cylinders of 4 stroke... chug chug chug chug chug
Thus begins the slow process of loading 30 wagons, one scoop at a time.
What Ho! A loaded coalie from Rapahoe makes an appearance, and heads east onto the Midland - the chase is on!
A fast blast up the road to Kokiri for one of those "down the line" shots. Not patient enough to hang around for some closer views I gapped it seeking better vistas.
Ohhh yes, Moana, the inner sanctum and spiritual home of a renowned Midland Line fanatic :-)
The coalie eases into the loop at Rotomanu for its schedualled crossing with "The Tranz".
And soon enough the Tranz Alpine glides round the corner.
As far East as I was wiling to go today, I "turned and burned" chasing the Tranz back to Greymouth.
Tempting fate on a "spirited" drive back to Greymouth, I pause to catch the Tranz hedging the river Grey just south of Stillwater.
And crossing the Omoto bridge.
The sun high in the sky I document the depature of the return service back to Christchurch before partaking of a Sub from Subway (just out of frame to the left)
I wander down to Hokitika, and find Westland Dairy's Scania powered Tr (ex NZR 718) busy in the compact yard.
I headed back up the road and followed the Hoki shunt back into town.
Seen just after crossing the new Arahura river bridge, previously a road / rail affair.
And to end the day a shot of the shunt leaving Hoki for Greymouth.