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aussiesteve 15th February 2021 05:32

Any South Island Kiwis lurking in the forum ?
The Otira tunnel has been mentioned by an amigo.
He questioning how the banker service is organized today.
Is there still a banker crew depot at Otira ?
If not, then is the crew from Christchurch or Greymouth ?
The Tranz Alpine was featured in a recent TV series by SBS.
That would have been shot within the last few years, so fairly recent.
The train was seen trekking west.
And, the bank locos were indeed hooked onto the real of the pas for the descent through the tunnel at Arthurs Pas.
And then detached from the rear of the pas at Otira.
The return journey was not included.
However a number of coalies were crossed enroute between Otira and Greymouth.
These only having a pair of weasels attached.
So, they would definitely require the bankers to assist for the 1 in 33 climb up through the tunnel.
I rode the Tranz Alpine when I crossed the ditch in 1999.
The electric traction overhead for the tunnel was being removed at Otira.
Weasels having taken over from the electric bankers.
Any info regarding the modern day Otira tunnel banking duty would be appreciated.

D.O.G.F.A.N. 15th February 2021 11:03

Taieri Gorge Railway.

If you are ever in Dunedin (bit different to Salford) then this journey is a must, unless you have a fear of heights Carriages with open rear decks give you the willies when passing over the many bridges/viaducts.

aussiesteve 16th February 2021 04:57

G'day Stuart,
I had squizzed video of the Taieri Gorge Railway, but did not get there during me 1999 Kiwiland trek.
You are permitted out on the viewing deck carriage of the Tranz Alpine, and the scenery is indeed gobsmacking.
But, due to the time period and exhaust fumes, nobody is allowed to remain outside while rattling through Otira tunnel.
Most of the Kiwi tall gorge trestles have a tall wooden slatted fence on one side.
I did ask why.
Apparently a soot belcher train fell off a trestle with the strong winds blowing along the gorge during an earthquake.
I rode the weasel back from Arthurs Pass in the cab with the driver.
I did ponder what would happen if a sudden shake, rattle and roll did occur while on one of them trestles.
Kiwiland is renown for shaking it all about.
Thankfully, that day we arrived back in Christchurch safely.

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