The International Steam Pages


Once upon a time, long ago,
A West Coast Weekend, Labour Weekend, Part 2
(20th - 22nd October) 1984 

Wilson Lythgoe has been circulating friends with some steam pictures taken some time back and with his permission and encouragement they are reproduced on these pages and will be added to from time to time. Click here for the index.


This tale is the continuation of 'A West Coast Weekend, Labour Weekend, Part 1'.

When I was over in New Zealand last year I queried mine host as to whether the New Zealand Railway & Locomotive Society still held their AGM during Labour Weekend. Having relinquished my membership thirty years ago I was unaware that it's now held prior to the long weekend. Many years ago though the AGM was a Labour Weekend fixture, held in different towns and cities throughout the country, and always combined with a number of excursions.

I'd had little to do with the New Zealand railfan scene for a number of years but when I learnt the 1984 AGM would be held in Greymouth I decided to test the waters and see if I could enjoy this brave new world of diesel railfanning. (It turned out I could but not enough to make a habit of it.)

After the trip up to Rewanui it was time for the final train of the weekend back to Christchurch. The clouds cleared, the sun came out and there were numerous photo stops on the run up to Arthur's Pass.

Where road and rail meet before Stillwater. 

A clean loco hauling a recently painted consist. It was a very photogenic train and one the Railways could be proud of.

The sun must have popped behind a cloud as the train ran alongside Lake Brunner but the result was still scenically pleasant.

Two more photo stops on the section between Jacksons and Otira.

Once beyond Otira the mountains tend very much to dwarf trains.

Three Ea electrics were used between Otira and Arthur's Pass to give the necessary grunt to get the train up the one in thirty three climb. Here crossing the Otira River just before the tunnel......

 ....and at the other end of the tunnel the Bealey River at Arthur's Pass.

There was only one photo stop after Arthur's Pass and that was crossing the Waimakariri River between Cora Lynn and Cass.


Rob Dickinson

Email: webmaster@internationalsteam.co.uk