May 25, 2015 … the sight and sound of steam

It was a damp day to begin with but got steadily better.


Hutt River near Silverstream

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.


For a lady of her age, L509 hauls the train almost effortlessly, though she huffs and puffs a bit on the way.

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.

Back to the station

The return journey

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.


In the engine shed

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.


About wysiwygpurple

Retirement suits me well. I spend much of my time out making pictures, or at home organizing and refining my pictures. This blog provides me with a platform from which I can indulge my passion for improving my photography and at the same time analyze my thoughts about what I have seen, where I have been and what is happening in my life. My images set out to be honest, but that does not mean I have not adjusted them. I use software to display what I saw though the viewfinder to best advantage. My preference is for landscape and nature, and is mostly centred around my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand.
This entry was posted in Landscapes, Light, Machinery, Railway, Rivers, Silverstream. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to May 25, 2015 … the sight and sound of steam

  1. Your lying down was worth it!

  2. John Titchener says:


    The Okaihau Express
    – Peter Cape

    She starts out from Otiria, the smallest train you’ve seen:
    This is the Okaihau Express.
    An engine and a guards van, with a carriage in between:
    This is the Okaihau Express.

    The driver doesn’t worry if he takes the journey slow,
    Drivin’ the Okaihau Express.
    He’s got all day to do it, an’ just forty miles to go,
    Drivin’ the Okaihau Express.

    She went into the bend doin’ ten miles an hour,
    When the whistle began to shriek (Whoo-whoo!) C
    But she caught that bull in the middle of the brisket
    And the engine smelt of steak for a week.

    There’s puppies in an apple box and pipis in a sack,
    Ridin’ the Okaihau Express,
    But no-one knows the difference when they’re drippin’ from the rack,
    Ridin’ the Okaihau Express.

    She stops at Lake Omapere to take some water in:
    This is the Okaihau Express.
    The fireman takes a bucket, the driver takes a swim:
    This is the Okaihau Express.

    Okaihau to Otiria it’s just a single track,
    When you’re ridin’ the Okaihau Express.
    You can’t turn it at the terminus, you just reverse her back:
    That’s the Okaihau Express!

  3. Starzie says:

    Love the first pic of the train!!

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