Gepost door: -paul | 27 februari 2014

Kate in New Zealand (5)

Little Train

This little train makes its way up the mountain to a place called the “Eyefull Tower”. That is the name given to the highest point of the line by Barry Brickell, the man who built it.Little Train 2 He was a young graduate teacher, passionate about potting, who moved to Coromandel to take up a post at the Coromandel District High School. He managed to survive two terms before buying some land near the township. There he started his career as a potter, using the cowshed as his studio. There was good clay further up the hill in the bush and to gain easier access to this he decided he must construct a rail track along which he could push a trolley. He was soon surveying his entire property to see whether he could extend the line all the way to the top. The project became an obsession and, with the exception of the heavy work on tunnels and bridges, he did it all himself. For me the pieces de resistance are the tunnel entrances and embankments. They are made of bricks which he made himself and sometimes empty wine and beer bottles (which he had emptied himself).
The line wends its way through the native bush, passing small kauri trees which take more than a thousand years to reach maturity.Little Train selfie In the last century the native Kauri timber was plundered for ship making and today enormous efforts are being made to restore the Kauri forests. Over the past decade three thousand trees have been planted with the intention of many thousand more being put in. The railway is an amazing feat and the hour-long trip on the little train was a memorable experience. Upon his death it will be bequeathed to the nation.


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