Monday the Train Trip, with hindsight, to Greymouth and the road to Franz Joseph.

So the taxi driver told us as we left Christchurch at 7-30am, that not only had the earthquake killed 185 people but that over 7,000 houses had been declared uninhabitable and the government, after the insurance company went bust, had bought them up and the area was going to be just nothing. Quite an impact on the city, considering he was always told at school when he was a lad,that the earthquakes if they did happen would happen in Wellington.

The view from the window in Christchurch May not have been interesting but the corridor was splendid.
The view from the window in Christchurch May not have been interesting but the corridor was splendid.

He also concluded that the train station was SO far out of town it must have been built by a taxi driver! The train was full: around 400 souls divided into two halves. Two observation cars, two buffets, so one guard type person looking after 200 bodies each.

An observation car but not as we know it Jim.
An observation car but not as we know it Jim.

The journey took some four hours, with a running commentary provided on headsets. The sights and scenery just became more and more dramatic, words just no longer seemed adequate to describe what we were seeing.

Many dramatic views.
Many dramatic views.
Mary flower hunting on the train but with no luck!
Mary flower hunting on the train but with no luck!

The journey started off as a fairly low cloud sort of day but developed into sunshine by the time we crossed over the mountains. There was a 6km tunnel and so much information was imparted on the commentary that a lot if facts and figures passed me by. One interesting point was that many of the miners who came to mine the coal, in those very early pioneer days, came from Yorkshire. They campaigned and went on strike for a half hour lunch break instead of a fifteen minute one! Well, you hardly have time to put the tobacco in yer pipe during 15 minutes, do you?

A map shown on a monitor, just like on a plane let you know where you were.
A map shown on a monitor, just like on a plane let you know where you were.

We then picked up a hire car in Greymouth at the station, had lunch and then motored on to Franz Jospeh. The pictures of the view from the Motel you have already seen. But the one ‘bridge’ that we crossed that stuck in the mind was the one that was not only a ‘one lane bridge’ but also had a railway line down the middle if it.

Quite a long train.
Quite a long train.

Thanks for reading. Now to post the excitement that became Tuesday! M & M

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Malcolm and Mary

Malcolm worked for LWT. Mary worked for TRL. They live near Camberley in Surrey and did achieve their life long ambition to visit New Zealand. They have two daughters Laura and Hannah and two grandchildren Zach & Safi. Having done the big trip they then went to Canada, which was amazing. Scroll down it’s all here. They have visited Venice that they both so fell in love with in 2009 again. And recently returned to Lefkada for one week in glorious sunshine. Where next? Well, Canada is calling again in 2019; this time including Alaska. So stay tuned if you enjoy the ups and downs of travelling.

4 thoughts on “Monday the Train Trip, with hindsight, to Greymouth and the road to Franz Joseph.”

  1. I remember well that one lane road come railway track bridge – I was driving the camper van at the time with Norah and the girls sitting round the table in the back enjoying the view. Quite a large target for any passing train I thought at the time.
    Its great following you round some familiar places. Some very very happy memories. It was in Franz Joseph that we discovered that the vans heater didn’t work!
    Keep writing – Mike

  2. Having seen your comments re the left luggage I can fully understand why you picked up a hire “care” in Greymouth. Glad to hear you are still alive and enjoying yourselves. Love D & J

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