Heritage Railway Project
The Rimutaka Incline Railway Heritage Trust aims to reinstate and operate a world-class heritage railway between Wellington and the Wairarapa. The Railway will be a unique tourist attraction for Wellington and New Zealand, and a major contributor to the regional economy.
On Saturday 23 August 2014 we were fortunate to have Peter O'Flaherty, local Upper Hutt Contractor, load up ballast wagons for us at Maymorn.
Four of our fleet of Yc ballast wagons were pressed into service, including recently overhauled Yc817, hauled by our Hillside Tr189. Ballast was discharged and spread at a few different spots, including the shed yard and a stretch of our mainline.
Another milestone for our railway on Sunday 11 May - the first public operation with a locomotive-hauled train. Our Hillside Tr189 did the honours, hauling D2411, one of the trailer cars that make up the 'Cyclops' electric multiple unit set.
With the locomotive-hauled train we can now cater for trains rides for around 40 people at a time. People can enjoy a short ride in our station yard, with the added nostalgia of the English Electric units that were withdrawn from service on the Wellington network back in 2012.
CAD (Computer Aided Design) work has begun for the rebuilding of two Wb class Baldwin tank locomotives at the Rimutaka Incline Railway. Wb 292 and Wb 299 were salvaged from a dump site at Seddonville on the West Coast in 1989, having been dumped after withdrawal from service in 1958 and 1960. They have been in storage at Maymorn since 2008, and the frames of both locomotives are now inside the rail vehicle shed awaiting attention.
Visitors to our Maymorn site will notice a change in our track layout, with the rebuilding of road 4 alongside the rail vehicle shed.
A temporary connection had been made in February 2013 so that Cyclops could be placed onto its storage track (check out Cyclops' journey into preservation at Maymorn). We removed two tracksets from the siding shortly afterwards to give better truck access to the workshop construction site - but kept the rails to hand for later reinstatement.
12 January was our first running day for 2014 - a brilliantly fine day - featuring cab rides in our shunting locomotive Tr189.
Today we had an excavator on site to form a truck crossing just to the Upper Hutt side of the pedestrian crossing. House trucks and other over-dimension loads request to cross both KiwiRail and our railway lines on a reasonably regular basis — and we had a few tasks to complete before the next crossing can take place. A low concrete wall at the base of our security fence needed pouring. Hard fill had to be placed between our mainline track and the wall, and a ramp from the wall down to the driveway level.
After five long days of effort by Trust volunteers, steam locomotive Ab745 arrived at Maymorn on Wednesday 30 October.
The locomotive frame, boiler and many stored parts were prepared for transport over Labour Weekend. The frame and boiler were brought out of the Stratford goods shed ready for lifting onto trucks. On Tuesday 29th the frame was loaded onto a long trailer, the boiler onto a 8m truck trailer and various parts stowed on and around the main components.
The weather was a key factor in the move, much better than what had been forecast earlier in the week.
On Saturday 28 September, after a couple of months of work and fundraising, we finally lifted the last portal into place for the workshop.
The previous week we fitted the train door legs to the portal frame, having already fabricated the door lintel and dropper from the apex - and a good number of girts. The preparation on the ground was well worth it, reducing the need for slow and expensive work at height later on.