Newsletter #24, December 2009

Some of the team working on wall cladding, 3 October 2009.

Some of the team working on installing wall cladding on the rail vehicle shed pause for a photo on 3 October 2009. Photo: Briana Hurst.

East end of rail vehicle shed taking shape, 1 November 2009

Visit the Maymorn Rail Vehicle Shed Flickr Set for the latest photos. And take a look at progress in our photo essay later in this newsletter.

In this issue:

Rail Vehicle Shed

Steady progress has been made on the rail vehicle shed through 2009. Volunteers continued with roofing work from April through to June, the final sheets installed in position on 27 June.

Work then turned to fitting out the rail beams to the south end of the shed, so that the sleeping carriage Aa1060 could be moved inside. The sleeping carriage is the most fragile vehicle in our fleet, and will benefit greatly from covered storage. Additionally a good amount of wall cladding material had been placed on the carriage to afford protection whilst the shed was built—once inside the cladding could then be transferred onto the shed. The 15-metre long sheets were removed from the carriage, cut into three and lifted into place. Miraculously the fastenings layout used to secure the sheets to the carriage were accurately located to suit the girt spacings on the shed, so little material was wasted.

By September we had secured 3 grants to continue cladding work from Cossie Club Upper Hutt, Pelorus Trust and The Lion Foundation. This gave us sufficient funding to purchase cladding and fastenings to complete the northern (Ontrack) side and eastern (Masterton) end of the shed. Consequently the shed has the appearance of being largely complete when viewed from the north or from passing trains. The completed wall cladding has greatly improved conditions inside the shed.

Steve cleaning out holes drilled for rail fastenings

Steve cleaning out holes drilled for rail fastenings at the west end of the shed, part of work done to move the sleeping carriage inside, 4 July 2009. Photo: Hugh McCracken.

Alex, Colin and Hugh installing wall cladding

Alex, Colin and Hugh installing wall cladding on the northern side of the shed, 19 September 2009. Photo: Hugh McCracken.

cladding work in progress on 19 September

Looking eastwards along the shed, showing cladding work in progress on 19 September. Photo: Hugh McCracken.

Starting to look like a shed inside

Starting to look like a shed inside—with sleeping carriage Aa1060 in residence (still clad with Colorsteel®! Photo: Hugh McCracken.

Ron, Glenn, Hugh and Steve secure the third-to-last sheet

Nearing the end of northern wall cladding work, which went up remarkably swiftly. Ron, Glenn, Hugh and Steve secure the third-to-last sheet. Photo: Hugh McCracken.

Planting time

As part of our improvements to the site the trust will be once again doing plantings in July alongside the Ontrack corridor. We had mixed success last year with some our plants not surviving the summer. A grant from the Ron Greenwood Trust was used to purchase plants and mulch to protect them from summer heat.

Planting under way at Maymorn

Planting under way at Maymorn alongside the Maymorn Waters access road, the rail vehicle shed in the background. Photo: Hugh McCracken.

Excavation

As part of preparation for the laying of track at Maymorn, plans were drawn up to excavate and undertake earthworks in the yard. Over a three day period in mid-November three hundred metres of formation was prepared and the Trust is grateful for the valuable assistance donated by Hurlstone Earthmoving Limited.

Trust members Alex Maciver and Ben Calcott put long hours into surveying and marking out the area and were on site to co-ordinate the work.

Hayes Earthmoving Services Limited excavator parked up

Hayes Earthmoving Services Limited (subsidiary of Hurlstone Earthmoving Limited) excavator parked up during a break while preparing the formation, 13 November 2009. Photo: Alex Maciver.

Alex, Ben and Steve marking out excavation

Alex, Ben and Steve marking out excavation at the site while plant was being refuelled, 14 November 2009 Photo: Hugh McCracken.

Fill ready to be spread into position at the pedestrian crossing

Fill ready to be spread into position at the pedestrian crossing opposite the Tranz Metro station, 14 November 2009 Photo: Hugh McCracken.

Vegetation and organic material being removed from the surface of the yard

Vegetation and organic material being removed from the surface of the yard by Hurlstone Earthmoving Limited, 12 November 2009 Photo: Alex Maciver.

further vegetation and organic material being removed

View east along the yard as further vegetation and organic material was removed by Hurlstone Earthmoving Limited excavator and truck, 12 November 2009 Photo: Alex Maciver.

Rail vehicle movements

The trust undertook 2 rail vehicle movements during the second half of the year. The first being the sleeping carriage which was moved into the rail vehicle shed. In the second move, ballast wagons were relocated down the yard to make room for excavation. Temporary track was laid in both instances and removed after the shifts were completed.

Ballast wagons being moved off future loop formation

Ballast wagons moved off area of yard that will in future be occupied by the station loop, 11 July 2009. Photo: Hugh McCracken.

Preparations being made to haul sleeping carriage

Preparations being made to haul sleeping carriage Aa1060 into shed, 25 July 2009. Photo: Hugh McCracken.

dismantling track after sleeping carriage was moved into the shed

Track being dismantled after the sleeping carriage was positioned inside the rail vehicle shed, 1 August 2009. Photo: Hugh McCracken.

Gumdigger carriage

Core components required to rebuild an 1884 Gumdigger Carriage were secured in June for the Rimutaka Incline Railway. The carriage, formerly PWD 189 was located at Ormondville.

Gumdigger carriages were built between 1882-1887 in New Zealand Railway Workshops. They were designed and initially operated by the Public Works Department, the government agency of the day responsible for the construction of railway lines (as well as hospitals, schools, roads, ports and other essential construction works in the colony).

Thanks to Rotary Club of Upper Hutt for funding transport of the gumdigger carriage from Ormondville to Maymorn.

Visit to Ormondville to collect timber Gumdigger carriage components

Members of the Trust including Glenn, Alex, Ben and Adam journeyed to Ormondville to collect the timber components of the Gumdigger carriage, and prepare the carriage underframe for transport, 27 June 2009. Photo: Glenn Fitzgerald.

The underframe of the “Gumdigger” carriage at Maymorn

The underframe of the “Gumdigger” carriage at Maymorn, 13 September 2009. Photo: Hugh McCracken.

The Chairperson’s inclinations

2009 has seen the Trust continue to make significant progress on a number of fronts, including the rail vehicle shed, yard excavation, rail vehicles and fund raising.

The rail vehicle shed has given the Trust a substantial presence at Maymorn. Its quite distinctive when viewed from Mount Marua (neighbouring hills)—but is largely shielded from view by vegetation (something we’re adding to).

Railway stations were once an integral part of local landscape of many provincial New Zealand towns, and typically including a station building, platform, goods shed, and in the case of more important stations, an engine shed. Our activity at Maymorn is perhaps a foretaste of its future importance as a junction station—“change here for the Rimutaka Incline Railway”.

The first few months of 2009 saw the completion of structural steel elements—girts and purlins were fitted to the portal frames that had been lifted into position by the end of December 2008. An intensive period of work in February saw most portal rafters painted, and a good quantity of roof cladding installed. By the end of June most of the roof had been completed. By late Spring the long north side of the shed alongside Ontrack mainline was clad with Colorsteel, and both ends are largely complete. We are indebted to Pelorus Trust, The Lion Foundation and Upper Hutt Cossie Club for funding that work—truly appreciated.

Completion of wall cladding work is pending further fundraising efforts, and we hope to be able to continue and complete this work before long.

Towards the close of the year we secured a grant from Rimutaka Trust for improvements to the shed—which is enabling us to excavate and form the long inspection pits. Most of the steelwork has already been completed, and rail purchased, so once the foundation beams are in place it should go together relatively quickly.

Opportunity was also taken whilst we had an excavator on site to excavate the foundations for the permanent workshop for the rail vehicle shed. Good blue rock foundations were found, which await engineering inspection and sign-off.

Yard excavation

A pleasing result for the Trust at Maymorn, as long-planned for excavation saw main and loop formation prepared, stretching from the rail vehicle shed eastwards past the pedestrian maze and alongside the Tranz Metro station. We’re grateful for the support shown by Hurlstone Earthmoving Limited in their donation—which is worth a great deal to us. Plans for track laying are well advanced, and as this newsletter “goes to press” some of the first permanent track is taking shape.

Rail vehicles

Aa1060 became the first rail vehicle to be moved into shed—being in relatively poor shape it was a matter of priority to get this vehicle under cover, and in doing so a good quantity of wall cladding material was made available for the shed.

Upcoming events

Members “tour de site”, Maymorn, Saturday 20th February 2010, 11 am .

Come and see what we've been up to and join us for a barbeque lunch.

Contacts

Full contact details may be had on the Trust’s website at www.rimutaka-incline-railway.org.nz/contacts.html,

Electronic copy

An electronic copy of this newsletter will be available on the Trust’s website at www.rimutaka-incline-railway.org.nz/member-pages/newsletter-24.html from 24 December 2009. Further copies can be printed, or images viewed in colour (where applicable).

Looking back…

foundation excavated 26 May 2008.

Foundations for the shed being excavated on 26 May 2008.

1 November 2009.

By 1 November 2009 flashings for the eastern train door had been installed, barge boards, soffit and wall cladding work proceeding. Photo: Hugh McCracken.