June 4, 2014 … boyhood dreams

Some people never grow out of their childhood fantasies.

Steam Incorporated, Paekakariki

Hiding behind a stack of rust-red wheels and the bright red shunting diesel locomotive, Ds202, mighty Ja 1271 gleams in the afternoon light

So it was that when I was driving past Paekakariki yesterday and I saw the steam locomotive Ja 1271 sitting outside, I had to stop. She was cold and there was a weather shield on top of the smokestack. Hmmm … something must be taking priority in the limited shed  space.

Steam locomotive

The footplate of Ja1271

But first I had to look in the footplate. The firebox doors were wide open and all the dials were on zero. The footplate was tidy but not spotless … there are some little pieces of coal and a spanner on the floor.


One of the commemorative plaques on Ab 608

So what was inside the shed? It was the Ab class locomotive, Ab 608, the one named Passchendaele, that proudly carried the commemorative plaques on each side of its boiler in memory of the railwaymen who died in the battlefields of World War 1. She has just emerged from a major rebuild.

Ab 608

A low angle on Ab 608 from the inspection pit

She is a Pacific class locomotive, a handsome example of her type though when she is in the shed it is difficult to get a view that catches the characteristic wheel arrangement. She has undergone an amazing back-to-basics rebuild and two weeks hence will pull a train up the line on a shake-down cruise.

Driving rods

Every aspect of these steam locomotives is heavily engineered. Those big rods transfer the power of the pistons to the wheels.

It will be good to see all those driving rods and valve-gear whirling about once more.

And that’s the day.


About wysiwygpurple

I am a family man, a passionate amateur photographer and a retired academic . What's the purpose of this blog? Well in the first instance it provides me with a platform from which to resume writing, an activity I greatly enjoy. What will the blog be about? Anything that takes my fancy but it is likely to arise from things I see and experience, in my family, in my travels, or anything else I feel like. Each daily post will contain one or more images made the previous day. Sometimes the image will illustrate the points made in the prose, and sometimes the prose will attempt to interpret the image. What kind of images will they be? Always safe for work and family. Usually they will be representational, and sometimes they will be impressionistic or experimental.
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One Response to June 4, 2014 … boyhood dreams

  1. I really like that top photo

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