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waitara jigger weekend
#1
a few months ago, blair organised for a group of us to visit waitara railway preservation society. finally, the weekend arrived, and half the group headed out on saturday with the other half coming up on sunday. i was part of the first group, so i could maximise my time with a smaller group and get more rides in as a result.

hamish borrowed a truck from kiwirail, the national railway company, and a trailer from a friend. on both, he was able to fit 5 jiggers. by the time blair, his nephew keegan and i got to waitara, the jiggers were on the rails and ready to be inspected before running on the private line. what followed was almost a full day of running up and down the line, having a grand time.

the waitara group has around 7km of private track to use. it is intersected by numerous road crossings which means caution at all times. to the north, the line ends at a farm gate, and to the south it terminates in the town of waitara, right across the road from a grocery store. this proved very handy when we decided to make a dinner run, and then a dessert run! the northern side also has a short bridge that crosses a wide stream, a spectacular view. the southern side passes through a short tunnel with a road passing over the top.

in the town

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my bed in the station building. everyone slept seperate, except blair and keegan, to minimise snoring annoyance. even still, no one got much sleep.
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looking north towards mount egmont. she didnt stay clear for long!
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at the supermarket.
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hamish's dog "chi", in the dogbox on a rubber-tire jigger. the jiggers needed to be turned to head back up to the station
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loading up to go home
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the river to the north
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some of waitaras stock
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ready to go!!
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strapping down the last
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after we left waitara, we went to the new plymouth model railway club for a visit. their building is an old cow shed in the middle of a paddock, and as a result, the layout is huge! i believe it is DCC and the controllers can be plugged into various places. there are phones attached to the layout at regular intervals, and they run it like a proper railway, sending goods to each other. one complete cycle takes around 4 hours to complete.

i cant give much information on the layout as a whole, sadly. maybe google the club and see if they have any info.


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we left there and did a straight run home, driving through several incredibly heavy rain showers, during which we saw a tractor and trailer made out of haybales. we went back to the steamrail sheds and met up with the boys in the kiwirail truck and assisted with the unloading of the jiggers.

the haybale tractor, just outside a town called hawera
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the steamrail sheds, unloading begins.

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just looking down the yard.
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my website address has changed: http://sunstomyandfriends.weebly.com/
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#2
more photos here
https://sunstomyandfriends.weebly.com/waitara-2019.html
my website address has changed: http://sunstomyandfriends.weebly.com/
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#3
Wow - Great report. Looks like a fun weekend. Made me laugh when you said you did a dessert run. I can just picture the jiggers pulling up outside the supermarket. Arriving in style!

Also that Plymouth Model Railway Club has a crazy layout. So much detail. Even fly fishing!

Thanks for the pictures. Smile
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#4
thanks, finno. yeh, it was awesome doing the supermarket runs. was a shame we had all organised breakfast... any excuse to take the toys out and play Big Grin
my website address has changed: http://sunstomyandfriends.weebly.com/
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#5
That looks like an amazing railfan weekend! I guessed correctly that jiggers are what we call speeders (track inspection car) in the US. You don’t see them in use much anymore because even the smallest Class 3 shortline will usually have a Hirail truck equipped with retractable bogies.

And I can’t imagine even an employee being allowed to borrow a truck or piece of equipment from a major railroad in the US.
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#6
Now that looks like fun and the weather looked great too. The Model Railway Club House Layout is beautiful. I especially like the forestry lumbering area with stumps too. Is that a jigger I see in the Layout too? Speaking of Clubhouse's, isn't your open house coming up? Thanks for sharing what looked like a fun time.
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
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#7
@Sun... Am I seeing two different gauges of track or is that just photo distortion? While on the subject, isn’t most of the rail network 3 foot 6 inch “cape gauge”?
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#8
cheers all.

OTR, yes nz runs cape gauge [had to google as i wasnt sure!] waitara, being a private line, is repaired with any suitable rail they can get their hands on, so there are at least 2 different "weights" in the line. one is 90 pound, not sure what the other is.
the jiggers dont get used on mainline here either. our rail network is all one company, and there are hi-rail vehicles the same as you would see. the truck we borrowed was hi-rail, and we are fortunate to have been granted its use. one thing in our favour is hamish used to work on the track gang, so knows how to operate it safely with all the kiwirail training.

super, we were so, so lucky with the weather! it was threatening rain most of saturday afternoon and sunday morning, but didnt set in until we were leaving the model railway club. none of us had brought we weather gear, so the jigger riding would have miserable in the wet. their layout is amazing, so many little details. there was even a dog that had chased a cat up on the roof in one scene.
our open day was last weekend. we did alright, but i wont bother running tomy at one of those again. too much effort for little reward in terms of public viewing.
my website address has changed: http://sunstomyandfriends.weebly.com/
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#9
A great trip by the look of things, plenty to do as well, thanks for all the info :-)
Happily collecting things all my life... Big Grin
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#10
The last time and place I remember seeing a speeder in use was during the 1990s on the Huey P Long bridge just outside of New Orleans. It was quite a sight and it must’ve been a bit of a thrill ride for the inspection crews!
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#11
(04-02-2019, 07:52 AM)sunhuntin Wrote: our open day was last weekend. we did alright, but i wont bother running tomy at one of those again. too much effort for little reward in terms of public viewing.

Very sad news [Image: sad-eyes-smiley-emoticon.gif]
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
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