The International Steam Pages

Once upon a time, long ago,
Bits and Pieces from around Canterbury

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 time it's a general miscellany of shots taken in 1969. Not enough of each to make a tale in their own right but put together become what I hope is another interesting look back at the way things used to be.

First off, in April, Dsc426 is seen getting underway from Middleton with what appears to be a fairly substantial load. Destination could be Addington yard but more likely Christchurch. I reckon it's probably around 08.30 and I was out for a shot of the Express when the Dsc came along. The shunters, riding up front, appear to be very relaxed and making the most of the early morning sunshine.

Fast forward to August and we have two railcars getting underway from Rolleston with train 149 to Ross. The railcars have only just started their run on the Midland Line and to the right, on the other side of the grass, is the South Island Main Trunk.

It's now September and Ww571 worked an excursion from Greymouth to Wellington for the NZR&LS Wellington Branch. These two late afternoon shots were taken on the Canterbury Plains during the run down from Springfield.

How the mighty have fallen! Still recognisable as a Kb in a few days more this once mighty 4-8-4 will have been reduced to just pieces of scrap metal. 

To me this is how a steam loco should look. Workaday, not too clean, not too dirty, just right in fact. It's a shot taken at Linwood Loco and with the little whisp of smoke coming out of the chimney and the sun on the smokebox it's most likely a Sunday afternoon. Ja1267 will be in light steam for either that night's or following morning's express.

Christchurch station and Ja1248 is seen getting underway with the day's 143.

Sometime in October or November 1969 I found Ja1267 racing over the Canterbury Plains with the southbound express.

Just after noon and 1267 is seen getting underway from Studholme. Now there's a spot that's changed since 1969 but then I suppose what hasn't.


Rob Dickinson