Dimboola station. This great photo was taken by my son Craig

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Periodical New Zealand post

Having returned from three weeks in the Canterbury region of the South Island, (and having missed some of the hottest weather in SA recorded history), managed to catch some rail action on the Midland Line. Not just coal trains this time, as I was out to photograph Kiwi Rail's superb new coaching stock, now running on all three passenger trains. I concentrated on the Tranz Alpine service, as it passed close to where I was staying.

A standard Tranz Alpine consist rapidly passing through Darfield with new coaching stck, heading for Springfield, where the train makes a stop for about ten minutes.
The Tranz Alpine departing Springfield. The DXC class used on this train re the only ones allowed, as all have had fire extinguishing equipment installed, in case they should catch fire passing through the Otira tunnel. (This resulted from the Pike River mine explosion inquiry).

The AK and AKC carriages, were the last items of rolling stock to be built by Hillside Engineering workshops, in Dunedin.

The other train a must to view, are the WP trains on the timetable, that all service the huge Fonterra Milk factory just out of Darfield. There is one milk powder container train on each morning, except Sunday, and a containerized coal train. These are scheduled for each day, except Sunday, but only run as required.
Containerized coal arrived from, Christchurch. These boxes are loaded on the West Coast, railed across the Alps to Middleton depot, then back to Darfield, as the siding into Fonterra is only one way.

Monday afternoon, and the extra loading is shipped out from the factory. The locos came down from Springfield and attached to the consist that was waiting on the Fonterra siding. All of this is visible from the highway and access road to the plant,  as there is a massive lawn area on the factory side of the track. All these containers are bound for China.
If visiting the area, beware, that there are road milk tankers everywhere, especially during the mornings.