ONTRACK (New Zealand Railways Corporation) and Steam societies

Celebrated the centenary of the North Island Main Trunk during 2008 – 2009.

The North Island Main Trunk line was New Zealand’s most important transport link for many years and has a significant place in New Zealand’s history. Completing the line was an engineering achievement of historical importance. Centenary celebrations include: -Re-enactment of the Parliamentary Special
– the first passenger train to travel the over the entire line. Wellington to Auckland, 6-8 August 2008
-All Aboard celebration of rail festival. Feilding, 23-27 October 2008 (www.allaboard.org.nz)
-Last Spike celebration – to commemorate the official completion of the line when the then Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward drove the last spike. Manganui-o-te-ao, 8 November 2008 Commemoration of the first commercial passenger service on 15 February 2009

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Photos by Janine E, Mark S, Stuart A, Mike & Toni H.

The Wab's Story About The Parliamentary Special

Saturday to Monday: the Wab received new carrier bars and new drop grate which Craig & Rochelle Moore and Kevin DeRose worked on.

Monday: Phil Wagener and Grant Allan cleaned the loco ready for its service.

Tuesday: Mike Barnes lit the loco up to warm the boiler up, Stuart relieved Mike and kept it in steam to reach 60 PSI on the gauage. Defired at 1900 hours.

Wednesday: Stuart Anderson & Kevin De Rose lit the Wab at 0800 hours, with helpers Mark Walker, Mike Barnes and Trevor McDonald cleaning the loco for the service. The service was running 1/2 an hour late.
The headboard on Ja 1271 transferred to the Wab's smoke box. The Wab hauled the old wooden cars to Taihape with stops at Marton for water, Hunterville with a high jacking of the train, (the robbers took Russell away from the train and asked for donations for Lions Club at Taihape) the train took water, then onto Mangaweka for a water top up.
At Taihape 5 minutes late at this stage, we watered the loco then had the loco on show for 1 ˝ hours for members of the public to have a look at this special event, Steam Inc crew cleaned the cars inside and out. Ka 942 arrived with Uc 191 (FSR) and Uc (MLS) and they filled the oil tank up then shunted the Wab and cars into the yard to be stabled.
The Wab was left in steam over night with Stuart, then Craig & Rochelle looking after it for the rest of the night.

Thursday: Wab with the Ka on the front hauled the train to Ohakune where the two L's were waiting L 509 from Silverstream & L 507 from Motat.
The Wab was serviced and ashes dropped and turned ready to haul the train to Horopito. Meanwhile the Ka towed the two L's to Horopito and left them there then carried onto Makatoe. The two L's then attached to the Wab as triple header went to the last spike, then to Makatote where we stopped at the home signal. The Wab with the two L's detached then steamed up the loop to get water and the Ka then backed onto the cars and headed for Taumarunui for the night.
The Wab with the L's then headed back to Ohakune were the Wab had a full service then headed home with a stop at Taihape to pick up our Uc then on to Feilding getting in around 2200 hours.
Written by Stuart Anderson

Features Ja1271, Wab794 between Palmerston North and Taihape on the 6th and 7th of August 2008.

Features Ka942, Wab794, L Class locos. Footage taken between Taihape and Waimiha

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