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Easter Weekend

19-22 April 2019.

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Tunnels

The Keirunga Park Railway has three tunnels. The longest tunnel in New Zealand is the Kaimai Tunnel in the North Island. It was opened on 12 September 1978 and is 8.850 kilometres.

Did you know?

Wab794: The Wab is a deriviation of the Ab, but was built as a tank locomotive. Putting the water tanks above the driving wheels gave greater adhesion for faster acceleration, ideal for the constant stopping and starting required on the Auckland and Wellington suburban services where they spent much of their working lives. Wab794, built in Dunedin in 1927, is owned by the New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society but has been restored by the Feilding Steam.

News

Labour Weekend 2018

A stunningly fine Labour Weekend had the crowds out in force to enjoy Keirunga's steam, diesel and electric locos running around the track. Many club members have spent countless hours beautifying the track, station and public areas, and the park was looking lovely in the spring sunshine. The station and overbridge were decked out in flowers and a new paint job on the signal box helped set the scene nicely.

Visiting locos from Auckland, Kapiti and beyond helped carry excited passengers around the line, with many opting to go around again on another loco.

Mr Whippy, the Coffee Man, and the Lions were on hand to provide much needed food and drink for the crowds.

Here's some photos from the weekend of some of the locos in the steaming bay. You can see more on our Facebook page.

Keirunga members enjoy Tasmanian wilderness and Melbourne

Mike and Dale Hartle recently spent a fortnight in Tasmania and Melbourne enjoying some relaxing time and riding the rails.

In Hobart, we visited a private railway called Boulder Creek Railway at Howden. Dave and his wife were very welcoming and we had a couple of trips around his track and inspected his workshop. The Boulder Creek Tramway is a private 7-1/4" (184mm) gauge miniature bush railway. See Boulder Creek Tramway.

We also visited the Tasmanian Transport Museum where they had a lineup of Tasmanian exhibits of steam locos, trams, buses, fire engines and old vehicles, and enjoyed the short ride up the line and back on the steam train. A great place to take the kids and grandkids! Visit the Tasmanian Transport Museum.

Engine shed, Tasmanian Transport Museum.

Further up the line, we were one of a few visitors on the day to the Don River Railway in Devonport and enjoyed a trip down the branch line in the old railcar, and inspected the engine shed where they had plenty of heritage locos, carriages and rail artefacts on display. Great half day out. Visit to view this.

Don River Railway.

Over on the other side of Tasmania, the West Coast Wilderness Excursion from Queenstown to Dubbil Barrill can now be ticked off the bucket list. This rack and pinion track hauls the original 100-year old loco Mt Lyell No 1 with heritage carriages up and over a mountain and along the King River gorge. This is a spectacular trip full of fun and laughter, and is suitable for all ages. The rolling commentary by our carriage attendant in the form of a story involving the passengers was certainly a different way to engage and keep our interest. Everyone applauded the drivers as they turned the loco around on the turntable and readied the engine for the return trip. A little gold panning on the way back to Queenstown proved fruitless but it didn't matter anyway! Visit West Coast Wilderness to see more about this amazing bucket-list trip.

West Coast Wilderness.

On the way back to Hobart from the west coast, we spotted Wee Georgie Wood sitting resplendent in its engine shed at Tullah. Wee Georgie Wood hails from a time when this small mining settlement could only be accessed by a 2ft gauge railway, this was their lifeline to the outside world. A fascinating half hour stop. See Wee Georgie Wood for details.

Wee Georgie Wood.

Back in Melbourne, the Steam and Cuisine lunchtime trip on the Puffing Billy was a real delight and is highly recommended. Three superb courses in the dining car while slowly winding along the Dandenong Ranges was a great way to spend an afternoon. It's one of Victoria's premiere tourist attractions and well worth setting aside the day to enjoy. Suitable for all ages. Kiwi seniors get a discount rate! Visit Puffing Billy to see the range of trips they offer.

Puffing Billy.

A day trip out of Melbourne saw us visit the Victoria Goldfields Railway, an authentic steam heritage train linking the historic gold mining towns of Castlemaine and Maldon in Central Victoria. First we travelled up to Castlemaine on V-Line, then waited for the steam train to arrive from Maldon. On we jumped and off to small original gold town of Maldon deep in the Victorian hinterland. The trip took about an hour, followed by a two-hour layover during which time we had a look around the town and had a delightful lunch. The loco was turned around and serviced. The staff were friendly and talkative, and we had the run of the train. The return trip to Castlemaine was just as interesting and the V-Line fast train had us back in Melbourne just on 5 pm. See Victorian Goldfields for more info.

Victorian Goldfields Railway.

And of course we enjoyed several train and tram rides around Melbourne, from the free City Circle tram to the one down to St Kilda beach for a look at Luna Park. We noticed the suburban trains were fast, pleasant to ride on, safe, clean and tidy. There were also lots of security staff at all the main stations and the day-tripper MyKi card was cheap and easy to use. It's such a pleasure to enjoy a well-run commuter service.

Easter Sunday was a second visit to Diamond Valley Railway at Eltham where we enjoyed the 12 minute circuit on the 7-1/5" trains hauled by beautiful and huge locomotives. The crowds loved it, and Mike spent a lot of time inspecting the engine shed and track, gathering a lot of intel, and talking to the club members there before bidding our farewells.

Diamond Valley Railway.

Easter 2018

The Hawkes Bay Today edition of the NZ Herald has a special article and video of Easter at Keirunga named "Local Focus: Keirunga Park Railway bustles into high gear after 26 years".

Steam & Cinders 2018

Held in Nelson from 3-8 January, Steam & Cinders 2018 lived up to its name with plenty of steam, and big crowds who enjoyed the weather, the rides and the displays.

Keirunga members Mike and Dale just popped over from Wellington for a day on Sunday 7th January and enjoyed plenty of rides, lively banter and catching up with our train friends.

Here's a few of our favourite photos:

Next Convention

The Steam and Steel 2020 International Convention will be hosted by the Hamilton Model Engineers Inc from 9-13 January in Hamilton. For more information contact Dave Simpson, 2 KoheKohe Place, Pukete, Hamilton 3200, phone (07) 849 3697 or email c307ludlow@gmail.com

World's newest luxury train

Fancy two weeks on the world's newest luxury train, travelling through Eastern Europe? Got a spare $20,000 and plenty of time? Well you could try out this unique journey from Hungary to Iran if you dare! Check out the Stuff website's article and photos, and start saving now!

More News

Read our News Archives for news and photos about Keirunga Park Railway and its members over the past few years.

Website News

The Keirunga Website has nearly 200 visitors per month - people love looking at our news and events, member profiles, and checking out our operation before visiting. Let us know if there is anything you would like us to do for you, or submit photos you have taken for publication on this website.

Check out our Facebook page for other news and events.

Keirunga DVD

DVD Cover.

Why not purchase your own personal copy of our Keirunga Park Railway DVD - 20 years of Keirunga Park Railway.

The 60 minute movie shows the operation of the various steam, diesel and electric locomotives at Keirunga, along with shots of the ride and the station area, as well as the building of Keirunga.

$25.00 NZ (overseas postage extra) will get you this DVD.

Please contact Warren Blackburn at email usarailfan@yahoo.co.nz or phone (06) 876 5309.