Locomotives

Midland Rail Heritage Trust is working to restore and preserve locomotives that plied their trade in a previous life on the Midland Railway Line, between the Rolleston Junction, Christchurch, Canterbury and Stillwater Junction, Greymouth, West Coast.

Uc Class Steam Locomotives

Uc Class Steam Locomotives

The Uc of 4-6-0 locomotives were ordered in 1900 from Great Britain, the builder being Sharp, Stewart & Company and delivered to New Zealand in 1901. There were ten built, numbers 361 to 370, and was the final development of the U class series of locomotives, being preceded by the New Zealand built U and the Ua also form Sharp, Stewart & Company. The Uc was built with a redesigned modern cylinder block of piston valve type, the same that was fitted to the B class loco 4-8-0 that was designed by NZR chief draughtsman, G.A.Pearson who fitted with his own arrangement of the Walscharts valve gear, built a year earlier by the same manufacturers. This meant the Uc had a 2" longer stroke than the U and Ua class though the diameter of 16" was common to all three.

Early working life

Our two locomotives, the last two built (No's 369 & 370) entered service in October 21 & 24 1901 respectively, Uc369 at a cost of £ 3,369 ($574,069 2011 Dollars) and Uc370 at £ 3,504 ($597,073 2011 Dollars). New they were allocated to Dunedin and Invercargill but for a while all ended up in Invercargill. Two latter came back to Dunedin to work the Otago Central Line, although one or two did come to Canterbury from about 1910 when displaced by the American built Ub class. However after opening of the Otira Tunnel in 1923 these locomotives were progressively transferred to the West Coast between 1923-25.

30's -50's

All were built with saturated boilers but seven of the ten were fitted with the new "U" class superheated type of boiler in the late 1920's and the remaining three locos were gradually written off from 1934 to 1936. As built the Uc had a slighter lighter driving axle weight than the U & Ua Class and with bigger cylinders was prone to wheel slip. A mistake was made when reboilered with the smaller U type superheated boiler as this reduced the grate area and firebox heating surface which then along with the larger cylinders made them hard to steam, particularly on long runs. Both boilers had a working pressure of 200lb/sq in.

Decommissioning

The seven survived until 1955 when between then and 1959 they were gradually written off. Uc 369 and 370 both in January 1957. Right up to the end there loco's could be seen hauling the Hokitika Express to Greymouth to connect with the Greymouth to Christchurch Express and also hauling and banking fully loaded coal trains from Reefton up over the well know Reefton Saddle and through the tunnel and down to Tawhai until the "A" class locos from the late 1950's. They were not a popular engine with the loco crews of the day due to the short comings mentioned above, making them hard to fire and keep the steam pressure up, being referred to as Utterly cantankerous (in polite company).

Disposal and Recovery

Between 1957 and 1961 several of the remaining locomotives were dumped on the the river embankment at Omoto on the Grey river, some 2 kilometres up stream of the Greymouth Railway station, for bank stabilisation/erosion protection. Uc 330, 331, Uc 361, 362, 365, 369 and 370 joined the already dumped F5, F277, La312 and P135. The locomotives sat on/in the bank until a large storm in 1997 washed Uc369, Uc370 and La312 into the river channel. In 2000 Whitebus Family Productions produced a documentary on the locomotive dump at Omoto, and in 2004 approached The Midland Rail Heritage Trust with regards to recovering the locomotives for restoration. At the time there was some concern that the river bank and associated railway embankment were so unstable that any significant flooding event on the river could collapse the bank and bury the locomotives forever. In March 2005 the locomotives were floated with air-bags from their watery grave and retrieved from the river.

P Class Steam Locomotive

P Class Steam Locomotive

Aliquam massa urna, imperdiet sit amet mi non, bibendum euismod est. Curabitur mi justo, tincidunt vel eros ullamcorper, porta cursus justo. Cras vel neque eros. Vestibulum diam quam, mollis at magna consectetur non, malesuada quis augue. Morbi tincidunt pretium interdum est. Curabitur mi justo, tincidunt vel eros ullamcorper, porta cursus justo. Cras vel neque eros. Vestibulum diam.

Vestibulum diam quam, mollis at consectetur non, malesuada quis augue. Morbi tincidunt pretium interdum. Morbi mattis elementum orci, nec dictum porta cursus justo. Quisque ultricies lorem in ligula condimentum, et egestas turpis sagittis. Cras ac nunc urna. Nullam eget lobortis purus. Phasellus vitae tortor non est placerat tristique.

Sed Magna Ornare

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Ds Class Diesel Locomotives

Ds Class Diesel Locomotives

Aliquam massa urna, imperdiet sit amet mi non, bibendum euismod est. Curabitur mi justo, tincidunt vel eros ullamcorper, porta cursus justo. Cras vel neque eros. Vestibulum diam quam, mollis at magna consectetur non, malesuada quis augue. Morbi tincidunt pretium interdum est. Curabitur mi justo, tincidunt vel eros ullamcorper, porta cursus justo. Cras vel neque eros. Vestibulum diam.

Vestibulum diam quam, mollis at consectetur non, malesuada quis augue. Morbi tincidunt pretium interdum. Morbi mattis elementum orci, nec dictum porta cursus justo. Quisque ultricies lorem in ligula condimentum, et egestas turpis sagittis. Cras ac nunc urna. Nullam eget lobortis purus. Phasellus vitae tortor non est placerat tristique.

Sed Magna Ornare

In vestibulum massa quis arcu lobortis tempus. Nam pretium arcu in odio vulputate luctus. Suspendisse euismod lorem eget lacinia fringilla. Sed sed felis justo. Nunc sodales elit in laoreet aliquam. Nam gravida, nisl sit amet iaculis porttitor, risus nisi rutrum metus.

  • Faucibus orci lobortis ac adipiscing integer.
  • Col accumsan arcu mi aliquet placerat.
  • Lobortis vestibulum ut magna tempor massa nascetur.
  • Blandit massa non blandit tempor interdum.
  • Lacinia mattis arcu nascetur lobortis.

La Class Steam Locomotive

Dolore Amet Consequat

Aliquam massa urna, imperdiet sit amet mi non, bibendum euismod est. Curabitur mi justo, tincidunt vel eros ullamcorper, porta cursus justo. Cras vel neque eros. Vestibulum diam quam, mollis at magna consectetur non, malesuada quis augue. Morbi tincidunt pretium interdum est. Curabitur mi justo, tincidunt vel eros ullamcorper, porta cursus justo. Cras vel neque eros. Vestibulum diam.

Vestibulum diam quam, mollis at consectetur non, malesuada quis augue. Morbi tincidunt pretium interdum. Morbi mattis elementum orci, nec dictum porta cursus justo. Quisque ultricies lorem in ligula condimentum, et egestas turpis sagittis. Cras ac nunc urna. Nullam eget lobortis purus. Phasellus vitae tortor non est placerat tristique.

Sed Magna Ornare

In vestibulum massa quis arcu lobortis tempus. Nam pretium arcu in odio vulputate luctus. Suspendisse euismod lorem eget lacinia fringilla. Sed sed felis justo. Nunc sodales elit in laoreet aliquam. Nam gravida, nisl sit amet iaculis porttitor, risus nisi rutrum metus.

  • Faucibus orci lobortis ac adipiscing integer.
  • Col accumsan arcu mi aliquet placerat.
  • Lobortis vestibulum ut magna tempor massa nascetur.
  • Blandit massa non blandit tempor interdum.
  • Lacinia mattis arcu nascetur lobortis.