Railways‎ > ‎


    Hannah & Michelle's Garden Railway JRinTawa's Railway

The H&M Garden Railway is located in Tawa, in the distant Colony of New Zealand, and is a family railway build with the help of my daughters Hannah and Michelle.  They each have their own trains of mixed prototypes, where as I endeavour to portray a New Zealand bush tramway feel more or less at 1:24 scale.  

 Our railway opened on 28th February 2006 and we are gradually working to improve the atmosphere, helped my mother nature.  The railway fits in amongst some mature trees and bushes which required some careful planning and a new retaining wall of Punga's.

My scratch built Dubs A loco features rather a lot in pictures of our railway, it is sort of our signature loco, and my favourite.
Now I refer to atmosphere rather than realism in what I endeavour to achieve as, this is a family venture, the wishes of our co-directors, H&M, need  consideration.  So if they feel giraffes or elephants should feature then suitable spots need to be found, and I do so with pleasure.

The H&MGR is an operating railway, providing mental relaxation at the end of a working day is one of it's regular duties.  It's a pleasant place to be in the evening sunshine.

The Bush Jigger, based loosely on ones operating on the Mamaku Tramway, is a modified Bachmann rail truck.  It carries the woodsmen to and from work in the bush and other service duties.

The workhorse of the H&MGR is our Bachmann Climax which has had some minor cosmetic work done to match the look of similar Climax that worked in the NZ bush.  Our 1 in 50 ruling grades are no trouble, it just purrs along.

Our little industrial diesel shunter Jonny now runs on battery power using the new Aristo-craft Revolution Train Engineer control.  Batteries are in the following match wagon.  Jonny has had a bit of a work over from it's LGB Field Railway guise with windscreens, headlights and other minor details added.  Pictured below coming off the truss bridge based on a standard NZR design.

Things happen at a respectable pace on the H&MGR, plenty of time to wander up to the loco when the special event passenger train is run.  Kakariki station is a very pleasant place in the evening sun.

One of our non NZ loco's is a Tram Engine, scratch built by myself to design and patterns by Malcolm Hull.  So it not "proper" NZ loco, but I like it!

In the middle of our railway is a small lawn, often used to sit and chat with friends while trains are running, the next picture is the view I had over a quite apple cinder.  All very relaxing after a hard days work.

Some evenings we have nothing better to do than run trains, often the same trains but it feels good to me.

It can be a tough life on the H&MGR but someone has to do it!

In the above pictures with Jonny is running under Revolution controlled battery power and the Dubs A still on conventional track power, will be great when funds permit the H&MGR to convert the Dubs to Revolution/battery.  The Revolution/battery combination being great for those evening runs, less time to get the track ready to run means more running time you see.

Slideshow - Please click the play icon to start

7th March 2010 update.
Autumn has started here, but we've still bless with a few warm evenings, perfect for dinning out doors, and even better when the view from the table is like the two pictures below.

And a sample picture of other activity; the Dubs A coming past the log siding at it approaches Punga Cliffs station.  This area is quite shaded and grows abundant moss, and curtsey of spores in the punga logs used to retain the bank behind, self sown ferns.  Unfortunately sometimes we grow little mushrooms here, no good for eating, but big enough to life the track if not dug out early enough!

Slideshow - Please click the play icon to start