Thursday, May 12, 2022

Back from Wellington to Auckland, 1992

Here are my last New Zealand pictures from 1992, all of them from the North Island. Many thanks to Kelerei and atom_omeara of the NZSignals group who identified some of the locations—especially an unexpected shot on Google StreetView linked below.
The first picture is a quick snapshot of the locomotive yard in Wellington, where a lot of diesel locomotives are waiting to be used:

NZR DC 4110, 4127, 4156 and DX 5016, Wellington, September 1992

The next pictures are from the Johnsonville Branch, which I drove to the end and back. The first one shows an encounter, the exit signal far back on the left already shows "clear".

NZR DM 356, Ngaio, September 1992

Currently and according to Google Streetview, this station looks like this.
In the next picture, we are already at the end of the line, where the single track ends at a buffer stop.

NZR DM 395, Johnsonville, September 1992

In the opposite direction, the signal towards Wellington is seen to have returned to stop due to the train visible in the distance:

Starting signal 4, Johnsonville, September 1992

I probably took this turnout in Wellington. Most interesting is the lever similar to a Geneva drive on the left, which is important for the functioning of the whole turnout: Pulling the linkage on the left does not reverse the blades at first, as the roller only moves into the cut-out. During this movement, the locking bar is pulled out of the centre lock via the two angle levers so that the cut-out visible on it allows the connecting rod to move. The roller has now reached the cut-out and moves the blades. After the reversal, the roller runs "emptily" again on the Geneva drive while the two angle levers pull the locking bar further back, thereby locking the blade connecting rod again:

Turnout at or near Wellington, September 1992

In the rain, we then took the Overlander from Wellington to Auckland. A first blurred picture was taken still at Wellington, of the EMU stabling yard:

NZR DSJ 4045, Wellington, September 1992

Also the nextpicture is from the train: It shows the northern signal box and the old goods shed at Paekakariki, today occupied by Steam Incorporated. At Paekakariki, the 1500 V electrification out of Wellington ends (the 25 kV electrification of the North Island Main Trunk begins at Palmerston North). The signal box, according to Kelerei, is now at the southern end of the platform at Paekakariki (the other box has been moved to Ohakune, where it stands opposite the station building):

Signal box and goods shed, Paekakariki, September 1992

A little further on, already north of Palmerston North, our Overlander drives through New Zealand forests:

NZR DX 5425 and DF 6219 mit dem Overlander, wo?, September 1992

The following picture is almost certainly from Ohakune:

Shunting locomotive of the "New Zealand Department of Transport", Ohakune, September 1992

And here is the cool link!: Kelerei found at Google StreetView, that exactly this locomotive is still at exactly that place, only moved up the track a little!
Further north—I probably took the following picture of this electric EF locomotive at Taumarunui:

NZR EF 30105, Taumarunui, September 1992

Much further north, a look at Huntly—things look a bit different there today: atom_omeara says the trees are taller, there is now a bypass road, a new suburban service from Auckland to Hamilton, and Huntly station has reopened as a passenger station:

NZR DF 6093, Huntly, September 1992

The last picture is finally from Auckland—it shows our train at the platform of the former main station. After the construction of the new main station Britomart, one of the old platforms became new stop "The Strand" in 2003, where nowadays only the Northern Explorer—successor of the Overlander—starts and ends:

NZR DX 5425 and DF 6219 mit dem Overlander, Auckland, September 1992

And that's it with my New Zealand pictures from almost 30 years ago.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

A few pictures from Christchurch, September 1992

The day after our trip to Greymouth and back, I took a few railway pictures at Christchurch. The first ones are from the platform of the old passenger station:

NZR DC 4916, Christchurch, September 1992

NZR DC 4916 und 4450, Christchurch, September 1992

On the right standing DC 4450 I could climb onto the driver's cab:

NZR DC 4450, Christchurch, September 1992

NZR DC 4450, Christchurch, September 1992

In the evening I took the following pictures near the huge "B Shed" that is still standing today:

NZR DC 4922, Christchurch, September 1992

NZR DC 4663 und 4853, Christchurch, September 1992

NZR DF 6127 und DX 5460, Christchurch, September 1992

NZR DC 4916, Christchurch, September 1992

Zwergsignal 25, Christchurch, September 1992

NZR DC 4916, Christchurch, September 1992

One more posting to come, with some pictures from the North Island—that's it then from New Zealand.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

"Mechano-electric" interlocking at Greymouth, 1992

In the considerable time we had to wait in Greymouth for the return trip over Arthur's Pass, I took some pictures at the signal box. The station had lost most of its tracks, as you can see from the last picture in the previous post, but at least three tracks had survived, two tracks went to the yard furtheron, and also the Rapahoe Industrial Line was still connected here:

Track and signal panel, Greymouth, September 1992

On the lever frame, which looks like a Saxby & Farmer frame to me, there were 32 levers, but 16 of them were unused spares, i.e. not (or most probably not longer) in use:

Lever frame, Greymouth, September 1992

The signals, although operated by levers, were colour light signals throughout, and the points were also electrically operated, as can be seen at the cut-off lever handles. Even with regard to the locks, such interlockings often raise the question of whether they are mechanically or electrically established—I don't know about this interlocking, but in southern England I have seen lever frames that provided all the locking logic electrically via lever locks: I'd like to call such a construction "mechano-electrical" and postulate that Greymouth was nearly such a beast (but I will try to find out what was really still mechanical here). Here are some details of the lever frame:

Levers 1 to 6, Greymouth, September 1992

Levers 21 to 26, Greymouth, September 1992

Levers 24 to 32, Greymouth, September 1992

Above the levers, there was the track board already shown above:

Track and signal panel, Greymouth, September 1992

Here, at the top right, you can see the red indication of the returning Tranz-Alpine train set, which will later take us back to Christchurch (without any photos taken by me):

Track and signal panel, Greymouth, September 1992

From the outside, the signal box looked like this (and still looks like this—the building is apparently still standing):

Signal box, Greymouth, September 1992

In this picture, looking north, you can see an inner starter on the right, an outer starter far out on the left, and the upper part of the supporting structure of the old Cobden Bridge directly to the right of the signal box building. Unfortunately, I didn't take a single picture of that bridge, because I didn't bother to see what else was interesting nearby:

Signal box, Greymouth, September 1992

The last picture from Greymouth is the inner starter:

Starting signal 15, Greymouth, September 1992

Monday, May 9, 2022

Tranz-Alpine-Express, 1992

Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures on the ferry, with which we crossed to the South Island. From Picton, however, there are two pictures:

NZR DF 6202, Picton, September 1992

NZR DF 6202, Picton, September 1992

... and another one from the drive along the east coast to Christchurch (thanks again for localizing locating it to members of the NZSignals group):

NZR DF 6202, probably near Kaikoura or Oaro, September 1992

The next day we took the Tranz-Alpine Express to Greymouth on the other side of the New Zealand Alps, and back again. For the following three pictures, you need to know that before the 2011 earthquakes, Christchurch station was further east, at the south end of Madras Street. So that's where we departed on the blue train, and the first shot was taken—as I discovered after searching around on old maps and then on Google Maps—just before the Durham Street flyover. You can see what the slight S-curve looks like today here on Google Streetview from the Colombo Street bridge:

Durham Street bridge, Christchurch, September 1992

The next picture is a little further on, at Selwyn Street. On Google Streetview you can see that the old signal cantilevers have all disappeared. But the tall silos and the three gables on the right are the same as 30 years ago:

Just before Selwyn Street, Christchurch, September 1992

Shortly afterwards we are at Grove Road. In the background you can see the signal box of Addington junction, where the line from Picton came in. The building is still standing—and also the signal bridge stood still in full glory in October 2019 according to Google Streetview (only its railing has been lost; presumably the signals are now maintained by elevating platform and not by climbing ladders ...):

At Grove Road, Christchurch, September 1992

At the west end of Middleton marshalling yard in Christchurch, I took the following two shots as the train passed by:

NZR DC 4542, Middleton Yard, Christchurch, September 1992

NZR DSG 3074, Middleton Yard, Christchurch, September 1992

Two pictures show the electric locomotives at the east portal of the Otira tunnel, which were still used then. However, the end of their use was already foreseeable, because heavier coal trains were to be run, for which converted diesel locomotives and new ventilation systems were planned instead of an upgrade of the electrification:

NZR EO 51 and another EO, Arthur's Pass, September 1992

NZR EO 74, 51 and another EO, Arthur's Pass, September 1992

The following three pictures are from the wye at Stillwater:

Signal 7/5FI, Stillwater Junction, September 1992

Signal 3FI, Stillwater Junction, September 1992

signal 2L was part of the CTC signalling towards Greymouth, which has long since been replaced by TWC:

Signal 2L, Stillwater Junction, September 1992

And finally, here is a picture of our destination station; the set of the Tranz-Alpine-Express has already left to the south to turn around:

, Greymouth, September 1992

In the next post you will see pictures of Greymouth's more or less mechanical signal box, which was still there at the time!

Sunday, May 8, 2022

New Zealand - North Island, 1992

From Pukekohe we drove towards Bay of Plenty and then via Rotorua to Wellington over several days. So far I have scanned only a few shots from there, but I am sure that I have e.g. taken some shots at the Raurimu Spiral ... someday I will find them and show them here. For locating the photos some members of the NZSignals-Group on helped me—many thanks for that!

Our first stopover after Auckland was in Tauranga, where I picked up a couple of locomotives on the other side of the harbour in Mount Maunganui.

Here are a couple of diesel locomotives at the south end of the harbour station. Unfortunately, I completely ignored the turntable, which according to satellite imagery is still there nowadays:

NZR DC 4035, 4260 and 4277, Mount Maunganui, September 1992

NZR DC 4438 and DF 6231, Mount Maunganui, September 1992

In the station, NZR DSG 3196 shunts some wagons. The turonouts here are still in the same position as 30 years ago, as can be seen at In the background, you can see the town's namesake, Mount Maunganui. In front of it, "Shed 10" can be seen, which is also still around:

NZR DSG 3196 shunting, Mount Maunganui, September 1992

The crane and ship in the background of the next shot are on the opposite side of Tauranga Harbour:

NZR DSG 3196 shunting, Mount Maunganui, September 1992

On the way to Rotorua I took the following pictures.

Probably between the Paengaroa and Pongakawa loops we followed this train:

NZR DC 4438 with goods train in the Bay of Plenty, probably between Paengaroa and Pongakawa, September 1992

NZR DC 4438 with goods train in the Bay of Plenty, probably between Paengaroa and Pongakawa, September 1992

Here is the northern starting signal of the Hauone loop:

Starting signal 8RA, Hauone, Bay of Plenty, September 1992

About 65 km north of Wellington, in the Horowhenua District, probably between To Horo and Otaki, this train came towards us, which we then chased a litle bit:

NZR DX 5068 and 5425 with goods train, probably between Te Horo and Otaki, September 1992

NZR DX 5068 and 5425 with goods train, probably between Te Horo and Otaki, September 1992

The following two pictures of the same train were taken 10 km further north at Pukehou—I had to lighten them a lot, the original slides are more or less completely black:

NZR DX 5068 and 5425 with goods train, near Pukehou, September 1992

NZR DX 5068 and 5425 with goods train, near Pukehou, September 1992

The following pictures are from Wellington. The first picture shows an EMU on the steep Johnsonville Branch line, which was in the 1930s the start of the main trunk line to the north:

Ferry terminal and a DM class on the Johnsonville Branch, Wellington, September 1992

Shunting locomotive DSC 2624 was busy pulling freight cars off one of the trajects:

NZR DSC 2624 at the ferry terminal, Wellington, September 1992

NZR DSC 2624 at the ferry terminal, Wellington, September 1992

NZR DSC 2624 at the ferry terminal, Wellington, September 1992

NZR DSC 2624 at the ferry terminal, Wellington, September 1992

NZR DSC 2624 pulling wagons from a ferry, Fährbahnhof Wellington, September 1992

On a second, older ferry bridge, you can see the split switch for the three ferry tracks. It is interesting that a three-way switch is also installed here on the station side—its use is completely unclear to me:

Ferry bridge, Wellington, September 1992

This short train comes from Upper Hut:

NZR ET 3812(?), Wellington, September 1992

The last pictures of this posting are from the passenger station in Wellington. At the following picture you can see the imposing station building from 1937:

Station building, Wellington, September 1992

Hungarian EMUs are parked in the station and at the platforms:

DM class sets, Wellington, September 1992

Ganz-Mavag sets NZR ET 3079 and 3217, Wellington, September 1992

Ganz-Mavag sets NZR ET 3079, 3217, 3396 and one more, Wellington, September 1992

Finally, here is a work train with two shunting locomotives:

NZR DSC 2381, Wellington, September 1992