Making images with a particular theme in mind is fun, challenging, and very frustrating.
I say frustrating because I have yet to master the ability to make my original vision come to fruition. To compensate, I sometimes end up with images that I like anyway.
Railway commuting has been part of the relationship between Wellington and the Hutt Valley since 1874. It really came into its own when the line through the valley was at last fully electrified in the early 1950s. Travelling on “the units” became part of the language of the region. The old red English Electric D/DM class car came to Wellington in 1938. Scarily, some of them are still in service, albeit now in a weird flat blue colour, with bright yellow fronts.
There are those who argue that we should get more people on trains and discourage cars. Though I like trains, the problem I see with this, is that the topography of our region tends to limit the places to which a train can be taken. We are spread out in gullies and on hills.
With fewer than half a million of us in the entire greater Wellington region, we are never going to have the critical mass to fund a satisfactory “go everywhere” solution such as those in London, or New York or Sydney.
If you live within easy walking distance of a station on one of the four main branch lines in the region (Upper Hutt, Melling, Kapiti Coast or Johnsonville), then well and good, the train is useful. Otherwise, you must walk, cycle, drive or take a bus to the station. This double-ended addition to the journey, with all the irritating waiting between stages, adds wearisome time to the working day and makes commuting a burden and a chore. And so people take their cars.
Back to photography. There is an archery range on the South Eastern side of the intersection between White’s Line East, and Randwick Road between Woburn and Moera. The Upper Hutt rail line curves in from the West under Randwick Rd, and disappears Northwards under Whites line. I reasoned that, if there were no one else there, it would be safe to go on that land to get an unimpeded view of the train at speed.
I was near the tracks, when I realised that there was now an archer preparing his equipment to start shooting sharp objects at high speed in my direction. I hastily withdrew to consult with him and he kindly pointed me to the (relatively) safe places I could use.
Back at the track, and well to one side of the range, I was looking over my shoulder to see what he was up to, and missed the first train through. It was beside me and almost gone before I heard it, and felt the hiss and shock of its passing.
This was a salutary warning about being on railway tracks. If I had been on the track I would have been dead before I knew what hit me.
The next train was one of the new Hyundai FP class units. It was going quite fast as it burst from under the Randwick Rd overbridge and swished round the curve to disappear under White’s Line East. They are handsome machines and I think my image has caught some of the sense of speed I was looking for (click to enlarge), even though it was not the image I had imagined.
I may try again.
*“From a Railway Carriage” by Robert Louis Stevenson … it begins thus:
Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches ….