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A West Coast Engineman


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Author: Ian Tibbles    Publisher: New Zealand Railway & Locomotive Society

Signing on at Greymouth's Elmer Lane depot in 1962, a young Ian Tibbles very quickly learnt the mysteries of "the dark shed". Graduating from labourer to cleaner and then fireman, his apprenticeship takes us on a journey about the West Coast in the 1960's, the golden age of steam. Starting on the wharf and local shunts on Wf's Ian moved onto the main lines, then populated with A, Ab, B, J, We and Ww class engines. Sharing his firing experiences, Ian recounts throughout the chapters what it was like "getting down the road" on the various lines and classes of engine. The vagaries of narrow grate engines through to the "modern" J class are all discussed. managing transfer to various depots on the Coast, Ian recounts his time on all the West Coast lines. The Grey Valley, Blackball branch, Ross line, relieving Reefton, the Tawhai saddle, Reefton to Westport, the Westport to Mokihinui coal railway, Conns Creek branch, Rewanui incline and of course blasting up to Otira on the J class, are all vividly recounted. Complementing the text is a lavish selection of black and white and colour images from the era. Without doubt, this is a book for lovers of NZR steam in the 60s. 163 b&w photos + 99 colour photos

Bind: hardback

Pages: 251

Publication Date: 10-04-2015