Friday 29 December 2023

Post-Festive Pot Pourri (3)

Antipodean Adventure Part 1
No 1 son plus wife have enjoyed a trip overseas earlier this month. It was partly work as son was giving a couple of keynote lectures; but the couple took advantage of the business trip expenses to buy a second fare and have a bit of an explore.

Sadly, No 1 son did not seem to be keen oh photographing publis transport, concentrating on the varied city and country scenery available! You can't get the staff, you know!!

But a few pictures formed a useful starter for an fbb blog exploration.

 One of those illustrations was this video.
It shows a freight train (at night, but you may have guessed that!) passing under a footbridge on which stood the brave Mr and Mrs.

This footbridge in fact!
The bridge was frail and ominous signs warned that five persons ONLY should be using it at one time. In addition, the clearance between train and bridge was very small. Also, the train was very noisy indeed. 

'Er indoors was frit!

Here is another picture of said bridge from a nearby "road" for want of a better word.
The sign on the red shed is Moana.

Moana Waialiki is, as we all know, a cartoon character from the Disney stable.
But the footbridge Moana is a community on South Island, New Zealand and a station on the "Midland Line"  (ORANGE).
The line runs from Greymouth to Christchurch and is one of only two routes still open to passengers on the south Island. On the map below only the BLUE lines have a passenger service; GREEN is for freight only.
Anything else is closed or proposed.

Moana lies between Greymouth and Arthurs Pass ...
... the station building is seen above, viewed from the Station House Cafe ...
... which looks a good place for grub!
The line is predominantly for freight as in the nighttime train above ...
... but there is one tourist passenger service each way called the TranzAlpine.

In the summer, the consist includes two unglazed standing room only ...
...  observation "wagons".

One of the many highlights of the line is the tunnel through the mountains at Arthurs Pass, also a station en route.
Called the Otira Tunnel ...
... it celebrated its 100th birthday this year.
Wikipedia explains the information given in the video more fully.

A contract to build the tunnel in five years was let to the engineering firm of John McLean and Sons who started at the Otira end in 1908, using the "drill and blast" method. With progress difficult and slow McLeans asked to be relieved from the contract in 1912, and were financially ruined. The government could find no other tenderers, so the work was taken over by the Public Works Department. The breakthrough was on 20 July 1918, but concrete lining took a further three years, and then two more years before the tunnel opened in 1923.

And all the antipodean adventuring twosome could do was stand on a rickety footbridge in the dark!

They were driving in a small camper van and their route took them parallel to the railway tracks over the Arthurs Road Pass.

In case you are wondering about the size of the trains ...
... maybe thinking that New Zealanders must be giant men and women, please note that the tracks are all narrow gauge, more than a foot narrower than standard at 3 feet 6 inches.



Y for "Yellow" Quiz Answers

Rochdale coach company 

Flying Banana at Great

Yellow buses at
Alexander Northern

Railway signals are NOT amber but

Yellow Buses once owned by
R A T P (Paris)

Old Yellow Bee Brand resurrected in

Steve Rotherham's Liverpool brand

Yellow front Blue Line started by
Southern Vectis

Isle of Wight Company    
Westbrook Travel

Yellow coach branded
Western Falcon 

Brighton fruit
Big Lemon

Edie McCredie drove her bus in
Balamory (Tobermory)

 Next Antipodean blog : Saturday 30th December 

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