I thought if there was a steam train coming through town we would have heard about it.
But it sounded again.
Checking out on the front deck sure enough there was a steam train stopped down on the railway tracks and it was letting off steam.
I hesitated and so ended up being too slow I later discovered, but I had grabbed my camera and headed for the car. By the time I got down to the tracks the train had moved off.
So what does one do when its a beautiful day and you could just do with a bit of train spotting?
Well.... you chase the train, of course.
So I zoomed into Putaruru, passing the little bus that was taking passengers on a train chasing trip from Matamatm to Tokoroa - they had to pay.
I managed to get into town and near the tracks just as JA 1240 "Jessica" was coming into to Putaruru.
Unfortunately she wasn't stopping at the station so never slowed down but I managed three pics as she raced by.
|Train stoker and Driver|
The steam train was put on for the Waikato Explorer - Heritage Steam Train Excursion.
Other photos of the journey can be found here
The locomotive has just come out of a six year restoration and, based at the Glenbrook Vintage Railway, near Waiuku in South Auckland, it traveled from Papakuru through the Waikato to Tokoroa with several stops along the way to fill its water tanks, refill with coal, excursions for the passengers along with other reasons.
With over a hundred years of experience between them, the drivers Bryan Campbell and Neville Simplins said it was a real thrill taking the old girl out. It was the first mainline excursion for JA 1240 since being fully restored by the Mainline Steam Heritage Trust and the trip was organised by New Zealand Rail Enthusiasts.
JA 1240 "Jessica" was preserved by Blenheim man Peter Coleman, and was stored serviceable at his Blenheim property. In 1988 after his death, JA 1240 was purchased by Ian Welch, and in 1990 traveled to Mainline Steam's Parnell Depot. This locomotive's restoration for mainline use (as a coal burner) has been completed, and will be based in Christchurch. It has been named after one of owner Ian Welch's granddaughters.