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MNPL (Wanganui to Kai Iwi) 2011-12-01

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Uploaded on Dec 1, 2011

Great day today (1-Dec-2011) which I spent mostly in the Wanganui area (especially the top of Westmere bank) but also some time between Turakina and Okoia to look for likely locations for tomorrow.

1. 526 Palmerston North to New Plymouth freight. 3 x DC (4467, 4058, 4231). 5:55 am (yes, I left PN at around 4 am). Blueskin Road overbridge near the top of Westmere bank.
2. 526 crossing 543 Whareroa to Palmerston North milk empties. 3 on, only one working (DFT7267, DX5068, DC4191). 6:50 am. Kai Iwi loop - and 526 in the distance on its way west.
3. Work train (ballast tamper) headed down Westmere bank and into Wanganui. 8:50 am. Blueskin Road overbridge.
4. 542 Palmerston North to whareroa milk. DX5097, DFT7145. 9:15 am. Blueskin Road overbridge.
5. 542 again 15 mins later through Kai Iwi.
6. Wanganui shunt (560/561) ex-Palmerston North. 2 x DC (4219, 4398). Seen 10:30 am coming back light from Castlecliff to the main freight yard. Later down at Castlecliff again by Molten Metals. Also saw the return through Ruatangata but my equipment was put away by then.
7. 545 Whareroa to Palmerston North milk empties. DFT7213, DX5108. 13:20 pm. Aramoho railbridge, Wanganui (east side).
8. 544 Palmerston North to Whareoa milk. DX5068, DFT7092 (DFT7267 obviously came off at Milson). 15:55 pm. Westmere top of the bank at the site of the old station.

Gradients:
A). Westmere bank from the east (Wanganui) side is consistently mid-30s for 4 & 1/2 km and low 30s near the top where the videos were filmed. From the west (Kai Iwi) side it's not quite that bad. It's a total of 9 km from Westmere summit to Kai Iwi and there are two sections of climbing with a brief respite between them. The eastern section, respite to Westmere, averages low 40s and the other section, Kai Iwi to respite, averages in the 70s.
B). Out of Kai Iwi the other way (westwards) where you can see trains climbing at the end of two of my shots is about 1 in 40. So Kai Iwi itself is situated in a dip.

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