Thursday, September 3, 2015

A visit to Dunedin railway station

Dunedin Station. 1/6/15

After tidying up a few jobs in town I decided to head down to the Historic Dunedin railway station to see if anything was happening. It was pretty quiet, not even a shunt heading out to the port or back.

This gave me a good chance to have a look at Dunedin Railways loco's and carriages. Dunedin Railways is the new name for the Taieri Gorge Railway, a tourist passenger train operator based in Dunedin that operates services to Pukerangi and Middlemarch on the former Central Otago railway and over the KiwiRail network to Palmerston and Oamaru.

If you're visiting the lower South Island a trip on a Dunedin Railways train up the Taieri Gorge is a must. Well after that unpaid advertisement for Dunedin Railways back to their locos and rolling stock.

Dunedin Railways DJ 1227 ready for another trip up the Taieri Gorge. 1/9/15

Dunedin Railways operate its trains using a fleet of five ex New Zealand Railways DJ class diesel - electric locomotives. The 64 members of the DJ class were built by Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and came into service in 1968 and 1969. The light weight triple bogie locomotives were used exclusively in the South Island and completed the dieselisation of the New Zealand railway network. The last steam loco's being withdrawn in 1971.

 DJ 1227's brass number plate and Mitsubishi builders plate (sticker).

Alongside the DJ's, Dunedin Railways has a fleet of ex New Zealand Railways and KiwiRail carriages.

The fleet is made up of wooden and steel carriages. Me, I prefer the wooden carriages because you can still lift the window and lean out (but not to far) to enjoy the passing scenery. Heres a few images of the older wooden type carriages still in service.

And some of the steel carriages....

In the last year Dunedin Railways has started to repaint and rebrand their steel carriages in the new Dunedin Railways livery. There has been a lot of different liveries on passenger carriages in New Zealand over the last few decades but the new livery is, in my opinion, one of the best I've seen.

Operating alongside the carriages is an open observation carriage that has been rebuilt from an ex FM guards van. This type of observation carriage is also used on the Tranz Alpine and Coastal Pacific passenger trains operated by KiwiRail Scenic. 

AG class open observation carriage.

With the weather closing in I quickly grabbed a few shots from the stations pedestrian over bridge. Dunedin Railways passenger services depart and arrive from the main line and the famed south dock.

 Dunedin Railways carriages resting in the South Dock at Dunedin Railway Station. 1/9/2015.

Another train ready to depart for a trip up the Taieri Gorge. 1/9/2015.

Having a good look at the locomotives and rolling stock, I was really impressed by the condition and up keep of the equipment. Good work Dunedin Railways! 

If you're visiting the lower south, make the time to travel on one of Dunedin Railways services or at least pay the station a visit.

And thats about it.

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