Holy smokes, I Live in New Zealand.

Stupid Freight Train Derailment.
June 21, 2008, 10:25 pm
Filed under: Actual Travelling | Tags: , ,

So I’m running in Wellington this weekend – Half Marathon #5 (and final) on my New Zealand trip. It was to be a 12-hour train ride through the backcountry of New Zealand’s North Island.

And of course, there was a freight train derailment just past the halfway point.

We did manage to ride up the legendary Raurimu Spiral which, as Wikipedia notes, is a winding/roundabout-ish stretch of track that crosses a 135 metre change in elevation.  At the top is a “major” train station at National Park (the name of the village is actually National Park, and it is at the gateway to Tongariro National Park, the second oldest in the world).  The restaurant was chockers (CHOCKERS!) with somewhat stranded tourists.

They loaded us up on buses for 3/4 of the remaining trip, and then a 1.5 hour, speedy drop into Wellington. 

It was a great way to stay idle for the day (important if one is trying to run a sub-1:40 half marathon), but even if I was sticking around I don’t think I’d be taking the twelve-plus hour train again anytime soon.  I had already purchased a ticket for the two hour (including travel back to my room in Auckland) flight on Sunday night.