Friday, April 18, 2014

FSO - Museums



I asked the Collins if a train could qualify as a museum as I thought this particular train is "A place or building where objects of historical, artistic or scientific interest are exhibited, preserved or studied."  Close enough I think.

Kawakawa is known for its Hundertwasser toilets and Gabriel, the steam train. I've posted plenty of photos of the toilets over the years (yes, really!) so it's the train I'm focusing on today.

I've had a growing fascination with the Kawakawa steam train, the railway station and restoration workshops for a few years now.  I admire how the dedicated volunteers give hours and hours of their time and expertise to bring back to life the steam trains of old and the line on which they can operate. 

They take what has been discarded by others:


and return them to their former glory:



When GB and I went for a train ride recently we travelled in the carriage at the front of the above photo.

  
Gabriel, the star attraction, built in 1927, is a fine example of a working steam engine and is the only one in her class left in the world.  She sure knows how to attract attention.
 


The railway at Kawakawa was the North Island’s first railway to be opened and the first to run a rail passenger service in the North Island.  It is also unique in the world as it is the only working railway in the world where the trains travel down the middle of a State Highway and right through the middle of the town.

Today the train runs as far as Taumarere Station where the original waiting room holds historical information.  



Passengers can walk out on to the longest wooden curved bridge in the southern hemisphere to where restoration work is currently being undertaken.  I think this is the last bridge to be restored and when it's complete, the train will be able to go to the original destination of the line - the port at Opua. 



I'll have to pop back later to link to FSO where the rest of the Friday Shoot Out contributors will be posting about museums in their towns.



I hope you have a Happy Easter. Safe travels if you are travelling.

14 comments:

  1. I could spend a day here. It is a wonderful place.

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  2. I would definitely want to visit this place is ever I'm in your neighbourhood!!

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  3. Trains and trains station always have romantic stories.

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  4. Trains are so appealing. I have a vague recollection of seeing some steam engines when I was very young -- say around 5 or 6 which would be early 1950s.

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  5. Hi Pauline, That train is awesome! I would love to see it in person and to ride it.

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  6. your train will come down to Auckland? Amazing how nicely they refurnish the inside.

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  7. I love old trains, this one is exceptional. I have ridden on four, south rim of the grand canyon, in clarksdale Arizona, Curitiba Brasil.... And can't remember. Lol, i can remember an old trestle crossing, but not where. Now we know for sure I am slipping. Really great photos. I went back a ways, your post on boat bottoms is also interesting.

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  8. so great that everything is being restored and treasured. great post!

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  9. Beautiful charming shots. I love the fact that it actually has been restored. It is such a great place to visit, especially if you love the railway like I do.

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  10. Wow they seem to have done an amazing job. My dad would have loved this - he was a steam train enthusiast himself. (Hm, I suddenly feel like I've already written that... But perhaps that was on GB's blog!)

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  11. We have a similar place about an hour away. I love photographing the old cars, but I like to see them refurbished too. Rebecca

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  12. There’s nothing like steam. I am old enough to remember travelling on a real steam train. Sticking my head out of the window (strictly forbidden) left me with a very sooty face.

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  13. That was a good morning Pauline and I your penultimate photo of the bridge showing the curve to perfection is one I would really like to have captured. It's superb.

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