The Wanganui Branch leaves the Marton to New Plymouth main line at Aramoho here in Wanganui and runs into town ending at the Taupo Quay Rail Yards. This in turn joins on to the Castlecliff Branch Line. The KiwiRail shunt from Palmerston North comes across 6 days a week, arriving in the morning sometime between 7- 9.30am. While here it shunts the Taupo Quay, East Town and Aramoho yards and now the reopened Castlecliff Branch. It leaves Wanganui most nights between 4 and 4.30pm. to head back to Palmerston North. The main traffic in the Wanganui area for rail is containers, fertiliser and logs. Since 2002 most of the time the shunt is run with one or 2 Dc class locos, but on rare occasions a Dft or Dxb may be used. The line also sees the occasional excursion be it steam, diesel or railcar. Before 2002 the branch was run by Dsc class loco based at East Town rail yards, with occasional visitors in the form of Da, Db, Dbr, Dc, Dsg class's of loco. I have included below some photos I have taken over the years of trains on this branch.
31 October 2010
Silver Fern Railcar RM 30 spent the night in Wanganui on part of its 10 day lower North Island tour. Local group SteamRail Wanganui got hired to do the security of the railcar overnight.
19th March 2011
Steam Incorporated, Kapiti and Wanganui Lions Club Fund Raiser. Ja 1271 ran from Wellington to Wanganui and return to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House at the Wellington Hospital. Photos by Nick Kaveney
26th May 2011
Dc 4467 and 4634 seen in the Taupo Quay Rail Yard in Wanganui. Photos taken by Sandra Jordan.
4th and 5th January 2012
For the first time since the late 1980's/ early 90's we had the Dbr class loco's down the Wanganui Branch and out the Castlecliff Branch. Photos taken by Kylie and Blair Jordan, Mark Seconi and Greg Tinnion. The locos were Dbr 1267 and 1200 which are normaly based in Wellington and used for banking the heavry freight trains.
2nd July 2013
DL 9129 became the first of its class to visit the Town Branch and Castlecliff Industrial Line. It is interesting to note that no locomotive as large or as heavy as a DL has been along this branch before. The run was to check that the new locomotive would adequately fit through the turnouts and the siding at Molten Metals. Care was taken while checking clearances against old 'Hollanders' loading bank. And if all this was not enough for the local train spotter to take in, Wellington's DBR twins were out the back gate at Molten Metals as well! Photos taken by Colin Hughes