Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu
View of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Taieri Gorge Train Trip

On December 23rd, we took a ride on the Dunedin Taieri Gorge Excursion Train. What a magical adventure this turned out to be. The Dunedin Train Station is absolutely incredible to visit. It is fun to see it actually being used as a train station because of the the popularity of the excursion trains. They even run extra excursion trains from Dunedin to Port Chalmers where the cruise ships port. They drop the passengers off here at the station and they can choose to tour the city or take an abbreviated Taieri Gorge Excursion Train.

We got to the Dunedin Depot a little early and got to meet the engineer before the train pulled out of town. It was fun for Elder Edward to reminisce with him about railroad days gone by.
Our train was on the left. It pulled out of town on-time at 2:30pm.
All of the passenger cars on the train have been refurbished. Our car was one of the newer cars. The older cars were really cool with their wooden interiors and windows that opened from the bottom up.

Our first stop - Wingatui. It is near where the train leaves the main line and starts onto the Taieri Gorge route. Restoration on this depot began after 1989.

As we enter the Taieri Gorge the views are incredible. They give a commentary as we travel along telling us about the different sights and how and why they built this section of railroad. It is only used for excursion trains now.

One of several large trestles.
The stone work on the pillars was very well done.
Another great view of the gorge.
Looking up the stream you can see the right-of-way carving through the gorge on the left.
The train stops several times along the way to let passengers get off and take photos. When the train is moving it doesn't matter if you take pictures to the front... rear...  or the side... there is always a photo op.
The Dunedin Railway really makes their equipment look special with the way they take care of it.
Isn't it interesting how we give our expensive camera to a complete stranger and then turn and walk away.
At Hindon there is a stone carving of Sue the collie dog. It is a tribute to sheep dogs of the high country.
Lots of shades of green.
They told how this section of track was the hardest because the tunnels had to be dug out by hand because of the fragile nature of the rock and that explosives wouldn't work.

When we arrived the station of Pukerangi they stopped and ran the locomotive through a side track and put it on the other end of the train for the trip back to Dunedin.
As we began our journey back to Dunedin something magical happened. It's hard to describe it. We went into a mystical fog and when we came out of it, we appeared to be on the front of the train in the locomotive. We know that's hard to believe but here are some of the photos. Doesn't it look like that is where we are? Weird, huh!!

We appear to be approaching a tunnel.
That hole looks very small.... wonder if we will fit!!
Thought tunnels were straight... we appear to be curving.
Something is getting brighter... what could it be!!
Is that the light at the end of tunnel?
Oh no!!. We made it through the tunnel but now appear to be speeding out of control.

Is that Sister Edward smiling through all this chaos... doesn't she realize how crazy things have gotten!!
What now... that mountain is in the way.....
Whew... a tunnel just when we needed it.....
The light at the end of the tunnel again. Hope when we get out of here everything is back to normal!!
Oh, just great!! Now everything is black & white..... I think it's time to end this blog and go ask Auntie Google how to fix the color. Thanks for stopping by!!

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