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 fairly extensive shunt of the shed was done on Saturday 14 May 2016, in preparation for storing another 56-foot carriage inside. Sleeping car Aa1060 and Gumdigger A255 were moved onto the inspection pit area of road 1, clear of steam locomotive Ab745.
We took the opportunity to pose Ab745 and Tr189 outside the shed for a photo, part way through the shunt.
Since our last update on 7 December - Workshop floor gets funding boost - we have placed over 20 cubic metres of concrete floor in the workshop. The transformation to the workshop building is significant - its fantastic to have so much usable floor area.
Only one road of the shed will be fitted with rails at this stage, and the "road three" rail beams are being boarded over to provide a continuous floor for machine tools, work benches and storage areas.
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,
On Saturday 26 September 2015 the track gang joined up the track sets on the new loop track, and dropped three wagon loads of ballast. By the end of the day the track was able to be used to store five ballast wagons, freeing up our mainline track.
More progress with our loop track at Maymorn, following on from the previous Loop track build starts story from July and August.
Rails have been crowed to form the curve off the double slip, cut and drilled. Good to finish that part of the loop and get on to the straight lengths.
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.