There was a nice surprise in Te Kuiti today.
Sitting in the railway yard, steaming up, was this lovely sight.
Diana, a Ja class engine, was built in 1949 at the NZR workshops in Dunedin.
These pulled the mainline trains of my youth, especially in the South Island.
In the more mountainous north, it's bigger brother the Ka hauled the express trains from Wellington to Auckland.
I still vividly remember the trip thundering across the Canterbury Plains, on the way to Invercargill from Christchurch.
If you pressed your face up against the window as the train rounded a curve, you could see the engine, the glow from the firebox, those driving wheels flying.
It was glorious.
Soon the last passenger train will travel the North Island.
Our railway system, once a world leader, has been run down to the point of collapse.
It's a national tragedy.
I like working on the roads, but I love trains...