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Tunnels

The Keirunga Park Railway has three tunnels. The longest tunnel in New Zealand is the Kaimai Tunnel in the North Island. It was opened on 12 September 1978 and is 8.850 kilometres.

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Wab794: The Wab is a deriviation of the Ab, but was built as a tank locomotive. Putting the water tanks above the driving wheels gave greater adhesion for faster acceleration, ideal for the constant stopping and starting required on the Auckland and Wellington suburban services where they spent much of their working lives. Wab794, built in Dunedin in 1927, is owned by the New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society but has been restored by the Feilding Steam.

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Keirunga members attend 2010 Convention

Several members of Havelock North Live Steamers attended the Steam and Cinders Convention 2010 from 6 - 11 January 2010 at Nelson.

Day 1 - Wednesday 6 January

Wednesday was the first public day and it dawned fine and warm. There was a concert in the park next door, so plenty of people were around. Everyone did several rounds of the track, and at 1 pm the Grand Parade began, with all available locos out on the track. The public kept arriving to admire the locos, steam traction engines, model boats and other static displays in the clubrooms. In the evening there was a shunting competition which attracted plenty of interest, and was won by the Hamilton club.

DG760 hauling a load of passengers.

Lyle Dawe and Gerard Moat.

Day 2 - Thursday 7 January

Another fine day in Nelson, with all locos fired up and ready for action by 10 am. Some of the ladies went off on the Bus Trip while the men ran their locos on the track or attended the MEANZ AGM after lunch. The club rooms were busy with people inspecting some of the displays on show, and watching the activities with the radio controlled models on the pond.

Models on display in clubrooms.

Radio controlled models on the pond.

Day 3 - Friday 8 January

Friday's weather started off with a brisk but not too cold southerly breeze. All the steamers were out on the track by mid morning and more people and their locos arrived during the day. The track opened at 10 am for the public, and was soon busy with departing locos from the station filled with passengers. Late afternoon was the double-header with 71 people hauled by 2 Alaska locos from Christchurch. What a sight!

There were lots of traction engines and other static displays for the public to view, as these two photos below show. Some displays contributed to lively discussions.

Traction engines on display.

Discussions about traction engines.

Friday was also the night run and all locos were out on the track after dinner for drivers and families to have fun. Any members of the public who happened to be around got free rides.

Day 4 - Saturday 9 January

Saturday dawned overcast but the cloud soon cleared to a brilliantly fine day. The horrible wind from the previous day had gone, and though the temperature was down a few degrees, it was a welcome relief not to be sweltering.

All the locos - steam engines, models and displays - were out for public inspection and enjoyment. The steamers got out on the track around 10 am and chugged around all day, carrying lots of happy passengers.

Steaming Bay.

The 3 course Convention Dinner began at 6.30 pm on Saturday night in the marquee, along with speeches and prizegiving.

Convention Dinner.

Day 5 - Sunday 10 January

Fine, calm, warm - again! Looking promising for a great day's running. Then an ominous dark cloud appeared on the horizon to the south, and at 11.15 am the wind changed. However the cloud dissipated and the forecasted rain never eventuated at that stage.

Incoming southerly.

The crowds were out early and in force, and we did lots of runs before lunch with full loads of happy passengers enjoying the sights and sounds of the Nelson track. The raised track was particularly popular.

Raised track with passengers.

At precisely 3 pm, after a few spots of rain and another wind change, the rain finally arrived. Everyone was scrambling to come in off the track, drop their fires and load up before the heavens opened. People rushed around helping each other or taking shelter in the marquee or under the nearest tree to watch the proceedings if they were not needed, especially the ladies! That was the end of the day's running as the heavens did finally open and those still outside got a real drenching. It was a shame the weather packed it in so soon, as everyone was having a whale of a time, but the public soon disappeared and the track took on a very sodden desolate look. The Convention was over! It was just a matter of getting packed up and outta there!

Thanks to the Nelson club for hosting a wonderful, friendly, enjoyable Convention.

Next Convention

The next Convention is being held in Whangarei from 5-9 January 2012. Visit the Whangarei Model Engineering Club website for details.

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