Carriage H that we travelled in was the last one going and the front one coming home. The engine changed ends and pulled ( towed ) us back. The rules say 25kms an hour going backwards and 70 plus forward. This carriage was 100 years old! My seat was in the extreme left corner in this shot. They should not have booked out all the seats as the musicians were very cramped...within inches of my face.They changed around during the journey. In carriage G was pianist Braydon Jeffrey - he had them rocking.
Many folk including me spent time out the back of the train taking photos. Some travelled there most of the way - which eased things inside.
It's just as well the banjo player ( who has taken off his striped waistcoat cause it got warm ) was a nice guy cause he was so close to me we accidently kept playing footsies. During the breaks we chatted amicably. I learnt quite a bit about their musical instruments, cleaning strings, and his family. What surprised me was how they managed to keep their rhythm steady as the train LURCHED. They could also play in the dark in the short tunnels, no problem. Here is this same trio outside playing while the engine swapped ends.
Here's the bass. ( great curves! )
The Moonlighters were very cramped for space. This is my seat Margaret has her arm on, so we decided to flip the seat over facing the other way which helped except I was still right up CLOSE!.
I didn't use it ; just took it's photo....a young boy went by when I was taking the pic - he thought it hilarious to photograph a loo!
Now a couple of shots for any train buffs.
The engine was built in 1956 in the railway workshop in Wellington and worked mainly in the South Island between Invercargill and Dunedin. It then spent time in a shed as a stationary boiler / steam cleaner. It has been lovingly restored by enthusiasts and travelled up from Paekakariki near Wellingtonfor this occasion. They take it all over the country...when they are allowed to use the lines !
Here you can't feel the rhythm or smell the steam and smoke or hear the hiss of steam or best of all the whistle blow. ( I might try and upload one of R little ipod clips with that on ) As we travelled there were onlookers everywhere; folk waving; many gesturing to blow the steam whistle, which the engineeer did quite frequently. This morning it was still and we heard the train in the distance leaving our area to go home. ( we both really enjoyed our journey and we aren't Jazz enthusiasts or train buffs.
We have had some mist and gentle drizzle this morning and may get more - we hope so.