Weka Pass Railway was the prime reason for our trip to the Hurunui, and on Sunday morning we boarded at Glenmark Station. This is a vintage railway, constructed in the 1880’s, and our train was hauled by a steam engine built in 1909, the A428. The railway passes through countryside with amazing limestone formations on its 13 km trip to Waikari. At either end of the line there is a turntable where the engine is turned manually so it’s ready to journey in the opposite direction. During the summer when total fire bans are in force the train is pulled by an historic diesel locomotive, and we were lucky to catch autumn’s first steam train. Part way through the trip they have a photo stop, where passengers can get out. The engine then travels back and forwards again so everyone can get good photos. At Waikari there’s an hour before the train leaves again so you have time to get some lunch and visit the craft shops.
The railway is operated entirely by volunteers, including my friend Christine who’s been working there for twenty years. We loved our trip, especially as we could sit in an open carriage, and enjoy the good weather and the wonderful views. We took lots of photos – here is a selection:
“It’s such a treat to go by train
especially through this great terrain.”