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 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.
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.
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.