It was a damp day to begin with but got steadily better.
In the morning, Mary went for a walk from Silverstream bridge to Totara Park bridge, walking up the Eastern side of the Hutt River trail. I dropped her at point A and collected her from point B, but somehow failed dismally to find a useful picture in the intervening hour. The best I could manage was the stony riverbed, washed clean after last weeks torrential rain. I did notice, however that there was coal smoke and steam emerging from the vicinity of the Silver Stream Railway (somehow, they have registered their name as three words, though the suburb is generally known as Silverstream.
Live steam is a magnet for me, so towards the end of the day, I went to Silverstream and bought my ticket, and talked very nicely to the duty stationmaster in order to be allowed to cross the tracks and walk up to a good vantage point. The locomotive on duty and in steam yesterday was the tiny little tank locomotive, L509 built by Avonside Engine Company at Bristol, UK, in 1877. Yes, this delightful little engine is 138 years old.
She was hauling a train of three passenger cars, one of which was filled with a child’s birthday party. I am sure that most of the kids were absolutely baffled by the parents’ expressions of delight and amazement. From their perspective, I am sure they thought they were on a particularly smelly bus, but the cakes and ice cream made up for it. The train goes up to the end of the line, and the locomotive is switched to the other end of the train and comes back in reverse. I lay down on the track to get the low level view having first assured myself several times that the points were properly set to swing the train onto the line to the right of the picture.
After it had passed, I wandered back through the engine shed. The translucent roofing panels provided a lovely diffuse light in the shed. Pure magic for a lifelong train spotter.
That’s enough for now.