Friday, August 20, 2010

Full Steam Ahead - The New Zealand Railways Gang At Oamaru circa 1905

Then there are rppc trains...

The New Zealand Railways Gang At Oamaru circa 1905. Produced as a Christmas Greeting postcard as was the custom at train stations at the time. 
(click on image for larger view) 
A Q Class locomotive of New Zealand Railways at Oamaru, South Island circa 1905. RPPC was sent as a Christmas greeting to family members from the gang at the Oamaru station. Sender remarks that the loco's lamp is one of the latest electric lamps from a workshop in Chicago.

Many decades later I rode the freight trains at Oamaru with my uncle who was a guard (conductor - yeah, I know no passengers so no tickets to punch; a guard "guarded" the train, not for "security" but "(rail)road" safety). By those times, diesels had taken over. Good times - toasting sandwiches on the pot belly stove in the caboose (guard's van). In the steam era, got to ride up front in the cab, shoveling some coal, blowing the whistle, hand on the throttle or whatever they call it, head out the window, cinders in the eye...

Sadly, kids can't do that anymore thanks to occupational safety and health. Go play a video game, kid. Wouldn't trade those memories for anything (sniff). God bless you Uncle Norman, up there in the big roundhouse in the sky.

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