So, where have I been you may ask?
Well there has been a lot going on in the background with family life over the last 2 months that has consumed a lot of time and energy, and I have also been slutting my way around the Book of Faces sharing my photos there...
*GASP* I hear you say! "TRAITOR" (or worse!!??) but there is some absolute GOLD coming out of the woodwork on such pages as
New Zealand Locomotives, ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/NewZealandLocomotives/ )
or the New Zealand Railway Historical Group ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/462104553878704/ ).
Not only have these pages provided an instant medium for sharing photos, but also allowed a lot of old railways staff to interact and provide almost instant feedback on photos and comments.....
So, does this mean the death of blogs and websites as we know it? I dont think it so, at least not here.
Yes, I have not posted here while I been off "seeing the world" but I have found that Facebook can be too public, and very impersonal. You get a LOT of know-all's who quite happily will had their $10.00 worth, commenting and judging on anything and everything as they see fit, which can be quite detrimental and lead to splitting of factions and so on.
So, back to Steel Ribbons.....
On the 4th of June DL 9129 came through on a clearance run light loco, that encompassed the full length of the MNPL right out to the port in New Plymouth, and also included a romp out to the very end of the Kapuni branch.
The company intends on running milk trains this coming season with DL's, and have been progressively putting the process in motion, first with the clearance run and then with some upcoming test trains to be done on the westmere.
Staff training has also started to happen, with the Team Leader, his off sider and a couple of the union blokes now "converted, the rest of us will follow in mid July.
To me this is the death bell ringing, the beginning of the end for all other mainline locos in the region.
Soon enough all we will see is DL's, the DC's slated to be retired, the DFT's to be sold and the DXB's banished to the South Island.....
I have been fortunate in recent weeks that almost all of my trains have had DC's on the front, providing some sort of foamery swan song if you will as they run out their last miles.
Yes, I guess it all sounds a bit tragic and dramatic, but I figure someone has to register the fact we are at the end of a era as far as railroading goes, and soon all our trains will be hauled by identical machines and railfanning (at least in the North Island) will become pretty repetitive.....
So to the photos....
(theres lots - you have been warned! Lol)
Untill next time.