Banking The Daffodil Express

On Sunday 8th of September 2002 steam locomotive J1211 ran the Daffodil Express from Wellington to Carterton and return. The train conveyed passengers to the annual Carterton Daffodil Day, which raised money for the Cancer Society. The Express was banked from Upper Hutt to Featherston (through the 8.8km Rimutaka tunnel) by diesel locomotives Dbr 1200 and Dbr 1199.

J1211 ran from its Depot at Plimmerton to Wellington, was turned and then ran the train to Carterton. After passengers had disembarked the train continued to Masterton so that the steam locomotive could be turned and serviced. The bankers waited at Featherston to bank the train to Upper Hutt on its return journey.

This page documents the use of bankers on the Daffodil Express.
There is a technical error on this page that will make steam enthusiasts fume (steam?).

1211 has just arrived at Loco from its Paremata Depot on a wet Sunday morning. A Johnsonville unit passes on the Main and beyond are two red 56 foot cars in the Passenger Depot. Overhead is State Highway 1. The bins were too heavy to move out of the way!


Summary

Why Bank The Daffodil Express? So the passengers do not suffocate in the 8798m Rimutaka tunnel and to help J1211 pull its 14 bogie train up the 1 in 70 grade to the tunnel.

Consist Leaving Upper Hutt 1200+1199, J1211, Uc tank wagon, van, 9 S cars, van, wide window car and business car.

What Was Planned Bankers to run ahead of Daffodil Express from Wellington to Upper Hutt. Express to depart Wellington at 0844. Bankers to assist special from Upper Hutt to Featherston. 1211's fire to be turned down in tunnel and put out if train stops in tunnel. 1612 ( 0958 Wellington - Masterton passenger) to follow special and cross bankers at Featherston.

What Actually Happened Departure of special delayed. Bankers departed Wellington at 9:10 ahead of 9:05 Ganz held at Advanced Starting signal. At Upper Hutt bankers entered Parapine siding to allow special to pass the Up Starting signal and set back into the loop. This allowed 1612, which was following a unit (berthed in the dock), to overtake. The Up half block signals are disconnected so the Daffodil Express waited in the loop until 1612 had cleared the Upper Hutt - Featherston section. Bankers were in notch 8 up to Maymorn - the balancing speed was 45kph from a standing start.

At Featherston the bankers cut-off and were parked until the train's return.

On the return journey there was a run at the up grade, which starts several kilometres out of Featherston, and 60kph was maintained up to the tunnel.

At Upper Hutt the bankers were detached and ran to Wellington behind a unit, followed by the Daffodil Express and 1613 (1559 Masterton - Wellington ).



Gradient Diagram



Shunting Movements In Detail

Shunting Movements At Upper Hutt

After stopping at the Main platform the bankers were signalled past the 36 Up Starting signal onto the single line. The bankers then received a Medium Speed indication on 59 Down Home to set back onto the loop. From there a Yellow on the 39 Shunt and Up Starting From Loop ground light authorised a movement into the Parapine Siding.

The Daffodil Express berthed at the main platform and after passenger work was completed was signalled past 36 Up Starting From Main. From the single line the special set back onto the loop.

1612, the 0958 Wellington - Masterton passenger then arrived at Upper Hutt and berthed on the Main.

The bankers then were authorised by Yellow on the 57 Shunt From North Backshunt ground light to enter the loop and couple up to the Daffodil Express.

1612 then departed for Masterton.

The Up half-block signals are disconnected so the special could not depart until 1612 had cleared the Upper Hutt - Featherston section.

(Continued) The half block is disconnected because an Up train failing in the tunnel on the Upper Hutt side is authorised to set back clear of the tunnel without the authority of Train Control.

The Daffodil Express,with the bankers in charge departed Upper Hutt with a Green on the 39 Shunt and Up Starting From Loop ground light.

While all of this was going on Ganz units were coming and going, berthing in the Dock.

Shunting Movements Featherston (north end)

On arrival at Featherston the bankers were uncoupled and signalled past 8RA Up Starting From Main to the single line. Because the LE of the bankers did not have a Track Warrant he could not pass a Shunting Limit board approximately 500m from 8L Down Home.

The bankers then set back onto the Loop. I did not observe the signals during this movement but I assume that Normal Speed was given on 8RA Up Starting and Medium Speed on 8L Down Home. The Down Home has a low-speed light but the Upper Hutt Signalman cannot turn it on and Featherston was not switched in.

The points at switchlock 3B (see diagram below) were then used to stable the bankers in the siding.

Shunting Movements At Featherston (South End)

Shortly before the special train was due the bankers moved from the siding to the Loop via the points at switchlock 3B.

The bankers moved towards 2LB Down Departure From Loop just as the Daffodil Express arrived back from Carterton. For a few glorius seconds Dbr1199 and J1211 ran side by side.

A Normal Speed indication on 2LB Down Departure From Loop athorised the bankers to move out on to the single line.

The Upper Hutt Signalman cannot turn on the low-speed light on 2R Up Home so, after checking that the indications on his panel showed that the points were correctly set and locked, gave verbal authorisation for the bankers to set back onto the Main and couple up to J1211.

(Continued) Because the Bell Street alarms would not work correctly during the set back movement the crossing was protected by one of the crew members of the Daffodil Express.



Attaching Bankers At Upper Hutt

I was accompanied by a Tranz Rail employee when these photos were taken.

Click on an image for a full size photo.....

The bankers have arrived at Upper Hutt and have stopped at the Main platform. A few of the many waiting passengers can be seen.    (40/3)

The bankers have uncoupled and have been authorised by a low-speed light on 36 Up Starting From Main to move onto the single line.

The windscreen-wiper indicates the weather!    (40/4)

Medium Speed on 59 Down Home authorises the bankers to set back into the Loop.     (40/5)

A Yellow on 39 Shunt & Up Starting From Loop authorises the bankers to enter the North Backshunt (Parapine Siding). Note 36 Up Starting signal and the rear of 59 Down Home (both of which we had passed a moment ago).   (40/6)

The Daffodil Express has arrived on the Main. The bankers are waiting in the Parapine Siding. The signal is 59 Down Home.   (40/7)

Dbr1200 and Dbr1199 waiting in Parapine siding. The Main is on the left. Looking towards Featherston. The weather is misty with rain. Note the jumper cable ready to connect to 1211.   (40/8)

The Daffodil Express has passed 36 Up Starting From Main and is about to set back to the Loop. The bankers wait in the Parapine Siding. I did not observe the position of J1211 but as the distance from the Up Starting to the Up Departure signals is only 277m it is possible that the 14 total train passed the Departure signal.     (40/9)

Daffodil Express setting back onto the Loop. The traps are open to protect the movement from vehicles in the siding. Signal 57 Shunt From North Backshunt is displaying Stop. The bankers are behind the camera.   (40/9a)

J1211 sets back over the crossover.    (40/10)

The Daffodil Express has stopped in the Loop and 57 Shunt From North Backshunt authorises the bankers to leave Parapine Siding and enter the Loop.   (40/11)

J1211 and Dbr1199 ready to couple up. 1612, the 0958 Wellington - Masterton passenger train has arrived and has stopped at the Main platform. The LE of 1612 and the banker LE chat.    (40/13)

The north end of the Upper Hutt platform. Dbr1200 and Dbr1199 wait in the Loop with the Daffodil Express and Dc4064 with 1612 waits at the platform for departure.    (40/14)



Detaching Bankers At Featherston

I was accompanied by a Tranz Rail employee when these photos were taken.

Click on an image for a full size photo.....

The Daffodil Express has arrived at Featherston and is on the Main with the bankers attached.    (40/16)

The bankers have cut-off, passed the Up Starting signal and moved onto the single line. They are about to set back past the Down Home. I did not observe the signals here but assume that the Up Starting displayed a normal speed indication and the Down Home a medium speed - Upper Hutt cannot illuminate the low-speed light.    (40/17)

CTC ends and TWC begins at the Down Outer Home (just visible). 538m from the Down Home and 150m from the Down Outer Home is a Shunting Limit board which defines the limit for a train without a Track Warrant.   (39/14)

Bankers on the Loop with the Daffodil Express on the Main. Looking north towards J1211.    (40/18)

The banker Locomotive Engineer reverses the points at 3B switchlock. This will allow the bankers to move from the loop to the third road.    (40/19)

Looking north. The bankers are now on the third road. From left - Main, Loop & Third road. Note that the points indicator is displaying purple, which indicates that the Loop to Third road points are still reversed.    (40/20)

Looking south. The closed goods shed is on the left and the Featherston station building is on the right. The traps are closed so the points indicator is displaying a purple towards the locomotives.    (40/21)

Dbr1200 and Dbr1199 closed down waiting for the Daffodil Express to return.   (40/22)



Attaching Bankers At Featherston

I was accompanied by a Tranz Rail employee when these photos were taken.

Click on an image for a full size photo.....

As the Daffodil Express arrived on the Main the bankers ran down the loop to the south end. For a few glorious second there was parallel running between J1211 and the bankers. The view is from the cab of Dbr1199.    (39-19)

The Upper Hutt signalman has reversed the points and cleared the Featherston Down Departure From Loop signal. This will allow the bankers to enter the single line before setting back onto the train.    (39-20)

The bankers are setting back past the Up Home at Stop. The Upper Hutt signalman cannot clear the low-speed light (and Featherston is not switched in) so he has given verbal authority for the bankers to pass the signal at Stop. Note the train crew member preparing to protect the crossing as the alarms do not work correctly for this movement.    (39-21)

About to couple up to J1211.    (39-22)

The bankers are coupled up and the train is ready to depart.    (39-22a)

The Down Departure is displaying Green and the Daffodil Express is ready to depart. The 57km peg is on the right.    (39-23)


Last Updated: Monday, July 25, 2005

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