DC4790 with fresh new clothes...
Well what a week it has been..
I have been on late shift all week, starting at 1pm.  Really its a bit of a bugger of a shift, cos I only get to see the kids for about and hour and half each day before they go to school / playcenter.... and they are long in bed by the time I get home :(

In theory on the lateshift, one books on, finishes unloading 542, makes up 547 and runs it out to meet 544 somewhere down the line, which I bring back to Whareroa and unload... in theory.
Reality this week has seen all trains at least 2 hours behind schedule through various calamities and crazy "on the spot" descison making...
Thus in the last 5 days, I have only been down to Patea and back twice, and the last three days I have not left the yard at all!!! 
Wednesday was a real ripper from a foamers point of view though. The weather was just awsome and late in the afternoon bathed in glorious warm sunlight we had 547 in the yard with 2 KR painted DXB's, we had 544 with 2 KR DXB's , and also 521 with a KR DXB and a KR painted DC. Add the DSJ and we had 7 KR painted locos in the one spot!
Just to finish it off, once 547 had gone, and 521 was sitting waiting to go, 523 rocks up with two more KR painted locos and a fruit salad DC!! 
More International Orange than you can poke a stick at!!

And word has it that our regular DSC (2624) is getting repainted now and will return to us in a couple of weeks sparkly and new (looking) to match the DSJ...

Back for more punishment on Sunday evening when I take a car down to Palmy and bring back 548. Not all bad though as I have a good friend along for the ride to keep boredom at bay :)

I really cant explain quite why I have such a passion for trains. Its been with me since a boy, and its always held me captive...  The only explanation I can offer is that its in the blood, and it goes back a fair way too....
We have quite a disjointed and fragmented family tree, and some of the details are pretty vauge but...

In the photo on the left, the bloke in the back row on the right with moustache is some ancient relation named Claude. He was a porter and a guard.

The bloke on the left in this photo is my great Grandfather named William, he was also a guard, and spent time based at many strange and exotic locations such as Auckland, Outram, Kaitangata, Ohai, Clarksville and others before seeing out his railway days in Taumarunui.... 
I think this is where I get my nomadic tendencies from..

Clarksville station, in the middle of nowhere. I think William was SM here for a while..
Scanned from a photo in the family archives.

I dont know where this is, but that little dot standing on the tracks center left is my great great grandad...

And great great grandfather is one of these fine looking chaps, believed to be the bloke fourth in from the right on the back row...
Taken in Auckland in 1930 something.

There have also been two uncles before me who were train drivers, one now long dead Jim Hamblyn who drove in Waikato somewhere, and the second was Ross Hamblyn, a Tauranga driver for many moons. Ross held his steam ticket to the end and drove several of the steam excursion trips in the bay area.
He now has a flower buisness in the coromandle.

So really, my poor mother had no hope of bringing me back from the "dark side", especially in my younger years when I was  nothing short of being woefully obsessed with all things trains.
Now I am older, all growed up (!!) with a family to care for, life is lot more balanced...

For some daft reason I have taken several photos of 5074 across its career starting from 1990 on. 

When I was lad "down at the station" watching it shunt the tallow wagons under the gantry at Hawera, I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever end up driving it on a daily basis! 
(even tho that was my dream...)
The one and only photo I have ever got of a train on the (now closed) SOL, largely owing to the fact that trains ran across the SOL in the hours of darkness.
I was never certified for the SOL, and only travelled on it twice - once on an all night mission from Stratford to Taumarunui and back, and the second time on the above photographed occasion, called out to be second man with another driver so we could relieve the crew on 533 who had already relieved another crew earlier in the night!!

The SOL travels through some of the most remote backcountry this land has to offer, often out of cellphone range, often with questionable (read no) radio reception and no public roads within cooee, crews had to carry a satellite phone with them and hope for the best.

There is whispers and rumers that the SOL may reopen soon, but I cannot think why...

Speaking of Stratford.... Im off to speedway..

Have made it my mission to blog something every day....

I couldnt think of anything worth while to blog about so I will leave ya with this picture of my train heading south through the Okoia Valley with the setting sun behind me a couple of years ago.
For those that were wondering, I was in the middle of a mighty long 10km/h speed restricion tip toeing over a fresh concrete sleeper lay, and took the opportunity for a quick stretch of the legs..

Its 5:12am on saturday morning and for some daft reason I have this stupid blog running around in my head I and am pretty sure I wont get to sleep untill I have let it out.....

I have just spent the last two nights on the yard shunt at Whareroa...
Had a slight difference of opinion with a Stratford driver last night about who does what job, which resulted in me taking 523 down to Patea tonight to bring back 546... meh - swings and roundabouts...

Pretty much confined to the yard all night. 
That said tho I have been in no less than 8 different locomotives tonight, 6 of them DXB's.
mmmm DXB's... I love them! Cant shut up about them... pull anything they will!

Our local fleet of dixies are a pretty sweet bunch, most probably because they have all just been overhaulled in the last couple of years are are still uber reliable, save for a couple of indesgretions, such like 5108 trying to commit hari kari via self incineration on the way back to Marton due to a burst fuel line, or 5097's compressor tonight packing a sad and causing some very odd brake issues while puddling around the yard...

So I have done my bit for our economy, personally ushering around 1.6million litres of Fonterra's white gold to their loadout facility, to be turned into fine export products by the aforementioned giant of the Dairy industry...

Righto... the grey matter is fading as fast as the black night sky giving way to pre dawn navy blue, and that all too familiar sight of a golden glow faintly tickling the eastern horizon..
Time for bed.
Righto, welcome to Steel Ribbons - the frothings of a professional foamer.

After several attempts at getting a blog going through various different providers, I have found joy and happiness here at Weebly...

Through this blog I wish to share with you all my mutterings, musings, modelling and passion for trains from a professional foamer....

Of course, my employer has a dim view on employee's sharing operational and sensitive commercial info with the outside world, so much of my ramblings will be vague and broad, but I am sure of interest to someone (!??)

More to come.