Southern Diesel Tour visits South Island, New Zealand

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An extensive tour covering many lines on the South Island of New Zealand was operated in October. A good proportion of the lines have no regular passenger services.

The ‘Southern Diesel Tour’ was hauled by preserved English Electric-built locos owned by the Diesel Traction Group: Di 1102 (Co-Co built in 1966 by English Electric, Rocklea Works in Australia) and Dg 772 (A1A A1A built in 1955 at Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows).

The tour was operated by New Zealand main line charter operator Steam Incorporated and ran from Christchurch to Invercargill with visits to some other lines on the way.

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The tour was also designed to celebrate 50 years of the former New Zealand Railways DJ diesel locos and these, provided by heritage operator Dunedin Railways (which own seven of the nine operational examples left), were used as pilots on the main line section, plus later in the itinerary on the Taieri Gorge railway.

The DJ Class locos were built in Japan (DJ means Diesel Japan) by Mitsubishi in 1968/69 to replace steam across the South Island of New Zealand.

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About the Author

Sam Hewitt

Digital Editor at Mortons Media Group Ltd.
Sam Hewitt is the Digital Editor of The Railway Hub. Sam has a Journalism degree from the University of Lincoln. When he’s not writing about railways he can be found at Keepmoat Stadium, supporting his beloved League One football team Doncaster Rovers.
01507 529529 | SHewitt@Mortons.co.uk
Sam Hewitt

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