This week it was confirmed that poor old 4507 has run its last mile under its own power. 
I believe it was involved in a crash of some sort and has since been parted out at Hutt, giving up bits of its running gear to keep others at the workshops going.
I know its not the fist DC to be retired and scrapped, but I see this one as the first of the new order, the executioner sharpening its axe, so to speak.

To be honest I am not really surprised, and it makes me think back to the movie DA Days and that class's twilight years where even the smallest of mechanical failures or incident would result in the loco being retired for scrap, and I imagine the DC's will slowly vanish through attrition as each one fails in service. 

I also am led to believe the next batch of DL's will be here in June and as they enter service the older DL's will head to the lower North Island and begin running the majority of freight services in the region. This I assume will see the master plan finally achieved and we will wave goodbye to the DXB's as they head south to the coal fields and the DC's as they retire.
There is plenty of talk among the troops that DL's will be running milk trains next season and our training on the beasts will begin in earnest soon.

The rail scene in the lower North Island is set to change dramatically in short period of time as the Borg like DL invasion takes over. Soon enough there will only be DL's and DFB's as normally aspirated 645's will only be found in museums.

My advice: Get 'em while you can - you'll miss them when they are gone....

521 on Wednesday afternoon.
528 at Stratford, 30 Jan 2013.
Like a hole in the head I bet.... LOL :-)

Happy New Year everyone.

Where have I been I hear you ask? Well, its a bit of epic saga but the main reason for my absence was that I had a month off for the holiday season and we fled to South Island to enjoy the festive season with family and friends. We also managed to go fishing, hunting, 4 wheel driving, kayaking geocaching etc etc etc etc.

I wont bore you with the family snaps.....

I am sorry to say but I had NO motivation to chase trains while we were down there. With temps averaging in the mid 30's the whole vaction, there were far better things to be doing!!
My eldest son raced in the South Island BMX champs at Rangiora, and from the track I could peek through the trees and see trains on the MNL, but thats about as foamy as it got.

That said, we did find a red TR at Spring Creek while returning from a most triumphant Kawhai fishing session at the mouth of the Wairau river...
I am not sure of its purpose but it seem seems to be gainfully employed on a daily basis, which is kinda cool as Tr's at country stations are pretty much a thing of the past these days.

Sadly the holidays had to come to end, and all too soon I was cruising on the Interislander back to the North Island (the rotten fish as my inlaws call it) having to be front and center for work a 4am start on monday morning...
Boy was that a shock to the system hahahaha..

Slotting back into the routine of work, it quickly felt like I had never left as nothing had changed, which I guess is a good thing, and it was system normal.

Predictably it wasnt long until the inner foamer returned, and below are a few piccys from the weeks adventure on the high iron.
5074 on the yard shunt after we broke 5051 and had to park it up.
Running late with 543 after having to wait for 520 to get into Whareroa and relinquish one if its DC's to be returned to Palmy at the request of fleet command, it was a 50 / 50 call whether I went to Kai Iwi or into the loop at Waitotara to cross 526. As it happened I ended up in the loop at Waitotara with about 20 minutes to kill. 
The sun was shining and recently rebuilt 7158 was on the point, so it would've been rude not to really....
A little bit of artistic mojo kicked in...
The office. Its got that new loco smell..
One for the rivet counters - new intake grills on the LE side of the machine. The panel where the ladder rungs are was previously blank.
526 at Kai Iwi on Monday.
An Auckland rattler out for a prowl in the province. 528 At Wanganui.
I hope you all have had a great holiday with family and friends,  and are ready to put your best foot forward for 2013!!

Take care out there. 

Until next time.