The International Steam Pages

Once upon a time, long ago,
The South Pacific Steam Safari, Easter 1972

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.

Easter 1972 and two South Island steam engines, well one actually as the other was originally from the North Island, steamed out of Wellington on a four day journey north to Auckland and preservation. On Easter Monday, by leaving Rotorua early, I reached Taumarunui in time to photograph the departure and then chased the train north. I was unaware until arriving at Taumarunui that one of the steamers had developed a fault the previous day and was now to be hauled dead.

Lead engine, Ja1250, got underway in fine style though. Tucked in behind was J1236, now purely for decorative purposes, followed by Da1497 providing extra power to hurry the consist along. As well as the excursion there are some other interesting things in this shot: at the far left a Ka tender, inside the loco shed what appears to be the yard shunter whilst outside is an eighty-eight seater railcar plus two Da's.

I remembered from a previous jaunt through the area just how good the views could be looking down onto the railway from the road and despite being a dull day I wasn't disappointed. 

Powering through Mangapehi.........

My last photo was taken near Otorohanga after which it was back to Rotorua and work.

Rob Dickinson