Sunday, 8 September 2013

The railway around the house I grew up in, Whangarei 1981 - 1999

Growing up as a child and having a 15" gauge railway around your house was what I considered "normal", having an uncle also in the same town and also having a large 15" gauge railway once again, around his house helped reinforce the norm! Although the neighbours property bare & lacking in imagination is what I considered "odd"!

So this post is highlighting "modelling" at its best, My father Ronald Bryant built by hand with the help from extended family & friends an oval of track completely surrounding the house. Behind the shed was the highest point with substantial grades, The red wagon's both had handbrakes in prototypical places that worked well & functioned like the real thing. Considering the grade, if rolling down in the wagon by itself filled with kids, we could actually lock the brakes & get it to slide along the bottom for about 2 metres before it would come to a stop.
  The track sourced from all sorts of odd places including old abandoned quarry lines around northland many years ago.

Neils 0-4-0

Dad's Climax 898

Andrew shunting

Loco #3 running over the bridge

Loco #3 heading up the east side of the house & yes, that geeky boy in glasses is me..

Shunting was typically a 2 man job, only 1 turnout but thats all ya need to get the job done. Note; Red wagon with one side down - everything worked!

Alison, the first girl born. Even gets issued with her own wagon.. & with rubber wheels. Man it could go!
All this has since been shifted to portland, where my father has done significant work on a new railway, to start the foundations are in place for a return loop & curve through a significant cutting having taken some years to finally be completed to a point where trackwork can begin. But certainly more to come soon on this venture!

A rather nice photo of 898 & the red wagon 2004 - Portland

898 - 2004 stored over a number of years in this spot amongst the ferns in an idyllic setting at portland.

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