Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mainline Steam, Parnell

This year, there was an open day at Mainline Steam on the 25th September, in conjunction with the Auckland Heritage Festival, and this year I was thankfully able to get there.

Ja1275, which was the commemorative engine for the reopening of the Onehunga branch line. Dates frrom 1951.

Ba552 next to it is an old timer from 1912.

Main attraction of the open day were the rides behind the 1932 Bagnall Tank Shunter (which has a double life as a Thomas the Tank Engine impersonator). A video can be fiound here.

What to do with old bogies? Turn 'em into sculpture.

And what to do with old freight wagons? Turn 'em into sheds (I wish I had one out back of my place!)

Inside the workshops. These were originally workshops for diesel engines, built in 1956 by New Zealand Rail. The buildings, with railway cutbacks, have been leased to Mainline Steam Trust from 1990.

Reminded me very much of Meccano sets I used to muck about with in younger days.

Ja1267 seems to have been purchased in 2008 from the NZ Railway and Locomotive Society in Waikato, one of the series built at the Hillside workshops between 1946-1956, according to an auction notice found online.

Garratt englines from South Africa.

Outside and at back -- a world of rust and graffiti. Here is the largest folded airplane I've ever seen.

Where old boilers hang around.

This bit above dates from 1877, constructed in Manchester, according to its casing.

This seems to be part of a turntable, an essential in the days of steam. Pleasant Point Railway still use one, I know.


  1. Great coverage. Wish I'd been there. Wish I'd even known about it, but news is very slow getting into the Titirangi bush. In the late 1980s I worked in a building on Cheshire Street, overlooking the workshops and my office had a panoramic view of all that went on. Being somewhat interested in trains, I kept a camera with zoom lens in my desk and probably spent more time poking it through the window than I should! I left the company but returned to it a few years later, when the Mainland organisation had taken over. My new office still had a good view so I got lots of photos of the Trust's early activities there.

  2. Hi Phil,

    I only realised it was on through a bit of accidental flicking through the Auckland City Council website. If they (hopefully) have a festival next year, with Super City an' all, (hopefully) they should advertise across a much wider field. If I hear of it, I'll try to remember to post the info.

    I sacrificed hanging about at New Lynn bus station's opening that day for Parnell. Glad I did, though.

  3. Love, love, love these photos. There's a farmlet we pass between Tarnagulla and Dunolly with about 4 old freight wagons being used as sheds and a gorgeous old girl (who needs a bit of TLC) of a steam engine and cars permanently parked at Bendigo station.
    Don't know if I'd sent you the link but Britain's newest steam train Tornado hauled stranded passengers out of trouble last Dec as the cold weather played merry hell with the electrics. *snort*

  4. From Jayne's link:
    "Mr Allatt, who was on the service at the time, said he only saw a handful of other trains between London and Dover throughout Monday.

    He added: 'If any of the train operators want to modernise their services by using steam trains, I would be happy to give them a quote.'"

    Heh, heh, heh! Go the Tornado! :-D