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.
During July and August we have started building the loop track at Maymorn, which extends eastwards from the double slip. The formation is already prepared for the loop, sloping to the cess drain to the north side. The loop passes through a short curve past the slip, then its straight-running through to and past the pedestrian crossing.
The loop will initially be used as a storage siding and will be useful to shunt wagons and carriages that are 'uphill' of our shunt loco.
An 1884-vintage "Gumdigger" type carriage is destined to run again on the Rimutaka Incline Railway. The Trust has recently been offered the two carriage body halves of Gumdigger carriage A255, which have been transported from Dunedin to its base at Maymorn, Upper Hutt. A255 was built at Addington Railway Workshops in 1884, saw service in and around Christchurch until 1964,
Gardner 8L3 diesel engine being test-started by Dave Shaw of Shaw Diesels on 3 April 2015.
A successful start, with a goodly amount of leaves and dust blown through! Oil pressure was brought up using an external pump and starting current to the starter motor from a battery set. The oil pressure held well and the engine churned back into life without any further problems.
A brilliantly fine day at Trentham Memorial Park for the 2015 Upper Hutt Summer Carnival - a great venue for the Trust to promote its activities and operating days. Prominent in the display was the cab and bunker side of steam loco Wb 299, which proved popular with the public. As earlier published in Wb 299 rebuild under way the cab is an interactive exhibit, folk are free to try out the driver's seat and glance out the cab window - and get a sense of the scale and heritage of the loco.
On 7 February 2015 we extended our mainline track past the gate towards Maymorn station. Just a short distance, but great to be heading "up the hill" with the track again.
A few tasks had to be completed in the preceding weeks, including excavating and installing a field-drain to take surface water away from the pedestrian crossing area, rails cut and drilled, sleepers adzed and pre-bored. Further extension of approximately 100m is pending removal of hard fill from the future loop formation.
Photos: Glenn Fitzgerald, Hugh McCracken
A 12-tonne excavator and dump truck were hard at work at Maymorn on Monday 12 January, excavating and moving spoil from the north end of our station to backfill the foundations of our workshop. The formation for our forthcoming track extension was widened and tidied up as well - with additional space cleared alongside the loop formation and a cross-drain put in.
Around 50 cubic metres of good quality base course was moved into the workshop formation, as the photos below show. Over the next week or two this will be spread and compacted in preparation for the concrete floor.
The rebuild of Baldwin steam locomotive Wb 299 is now well under way. The first major components - cab and bunker side were fabricated in time for display at RailEx. A cab seat and raised section of cab floor were added to make a more interesting exhibit, which proved quite popular with visitors.
On Saturday 29th November we passed another milestone with our workshop shed construction - completing the foundation wall. A few weeks of preparing formwork had paid off with a single building inspection and pour, a central column pod included in the job. We're grateful for funding recently received from Rimutaka Trust, which has been another major boost for our workshop project.
On Tuesday 21st October we took delivery of ex-Ohai Railway Board locomotive No.1 at our Maymorn railway heritage site.
The locomotive was built by Drewry/Vulcan in 1947 for the Ohai Railway Board and along with being used on coal trains was used on some of the first diesel locomotive hauled passenger trains in New Zealand.
A huge effort put into the workshop over the weekend of 4-5 October, all four barge boards lifted up, flashings fitted and soffit installed at the Upper Hutt end. We're very close to completing the roof - which will be a most welcomed milestone in this project.
The weather was patchy at best, but thankfully not as bad as was forecast, and we got a huge amount of work done. Thanks to all who helped out!
We're now able to clad the Upper Hutt end wall - the ColorSteel sheets on site ready to install.