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.
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 also completed five small sections of floor slabs inside the main shed, along with a short length of inspection pit floor and a support wall.
Work can now proceed on backfilling the workshop floor area and preparing rail beams and slabs for inspection and concrete placement.
All photos: Glenn Fitzgerald.
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.
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.