Thursday, 24 December 2009
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
In my computing blog I wrote a review recently of Energizer’s PROSW2A “Hard Case” swivel head 2 AA flashlight, which can display red, green and white aspects using high brightness LEDs. A friend recently reminded me that these colours are often used to hand-signal trains on heritage railways during night operations. Specifically these colours are referenced in old NZ Railways rule books, where red means, of course, Stop, and various directions of movement of green and white lights are used to indicate a direction or speed of movement in yard operations such as shunting. Although commercial products of this type are available, they are likely to be significantly more expensive than this $60 Energizer model. However the design of this model, for all practical purposes, effectively limits its usefulness to situations where green and red are the predominant colours used, as these are both controlled by one pushbutton switch. White is on another switch and can be on at the same time as the colours, so a red-white-red or white-red-white pattern, or changing rapidly from white to red display, would be pretty awkward to achieve.
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Saturday, 28 November 2009
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Mt Maunganui Port has one of the most extensive siding developments of any NZ port (depicted in blue lines above). The green lines suggest possibilities for mainline deviations in several places.
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Friday, 27 November 2009
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Sunday, 15 November 2009
Sunday, 1 November 2009
Originally uploaded by > Russ<
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Saturday, 31 October 2009
- Blog postings will mainly be in relation to website updates. I am not writing a significant volume of other material related to this subject. Nor am I routinely undertaking research or investigation into rail related subjects
- Map updates are limited to improving existing maps when coverage improves. No significant effort will be made to try to identify points of interest that are not already marked. No completely new maps will be drawn.
- There will be no research in relation to maps. I don’t have contact with the railfan community in NZ as I am not a member of any groups associated with this community. Nor do I have time to look up other sources of information in relation to maps. Essentially the process of improving maps is limited to identifying features that can already be seen in Google Earth, rather than locating existing non visible features.
- There will not be a set timeframe in which maps are updated. Rather it will be done spasmodically as free time permits.
Sunday, 4 October 2009
2. Athenree Station site – concrete foundations, rail formation, culvert near SH2,
plate layers cottages and Arden Cottage. [T13 E6903 N1177]
3. Railway Formation south of Athenree Road (800m) [T13 E6990 N 1153]
4. Prominent Cutting through hill (100m) [U13 E70021 N10383]
5. Concrete Culvert [T13 E69940 N10181]
6. Small Concrete Bridge Piles (Bridge No. 28) [T13 E69768 N09677]
7. Tuapiro Stream Bridge Abutment [T13 E6915 N0765]
8. Railway Formation south of Kauri Point Rd (800m) [T13 E691 N054]
9. Tahawai Stream Bridge (No. 35) Concrete Piers [T13 E6794 N0331]
10. McKinney (Tawherowhero) Bridge timber abutments (No. 37) [T13 E67833 N02574]
11. Uretara Stream Bridge (No. 40) timber abutments [T13 E67654 N00894]
12. Henry Road cutting and railway formation (200m)
13. Rereatukahia Stream concrete bridge (no.44) [T14 E67621 N98416]
14. Te Manaia Stream Timber Trestle bridge (no. 46)
15. Waitokohe Sream Timber Trestle Bridge (No. 48) and embankment (300m)
16. Aongatete River Bridge (No. 51) concrete and timber piers
17. Whatakao Stream Timber Trestle Bridge (No. 52)
19. Wainui River Timber Trestle Bridge (No. 56)
20. Apata Station Site – small station building
The Athenree Station is located at a new site at 360 Athrenree Road (Stewart Homestead). This site is encircled by a well known large horseshoe curve of the old railway route. I believe this is Street View’s view at the time of writing of the old station building. The photo is a bit dark but the building which looks just like a typical railway station is on the little rise about the centre of this view.
This post is not going to be a series of posts, nor is there going to be any more maps updated this year (if ever) because all this stuff takes forever to do. But if I had kept all the blog posts of the two former blogs that I used to write on this subject, I would gladly repost them herewith.
Sunday, 10 May 2009
Saturday, 25 April 2009
- Select the source images
- Scan slides
- Copy negative scans from CD
- Copy digital photos from source
- Geotag source images
- Use EasyGPS to synchronise recent photos with GPS tracks obtained on board the train.
- Using either Google Earth/Picasa or Geosetter, geotag all other photos. Google Earth 5 proved troublesome at times and the last 50 photos had to be tagged with Geosetter, which is more work.
- Date source images
- This step only applies to scanned images – digitals have the date inserted in the Exif tags. Using Geosetter to set the EXIF date fields.
- Caption source images
- Use Picasa to add captions to all images.
- Batch convert source images
- Using IrfanView batch processing, resample all images at a width of 1600 pixels and add the overlay text.
Friday, 17 April 2009
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- Near the South Road overbridges. The road and highway bridges are at the same level. Moreover, the elevation is 30 metres lower over a distance of 1500 metres, corresponding to the 1 in 50 gradient of the old railway at this point.
- Near the Goodall Street bridge and the old Caversham station. There is a difference in the elevation of the railway and present highway, which possibly could be explained by the highway being constructed by building up the formation. If the new route is at an elevation of 27 metres at this location then this would allow the gradient to be maintained. Evidence for this location mainly comes from a statement that this is the position where the lines diverged, and a photo which appears to show a curve and one of the overbridges over the new route, possibly the one at Goodall Street.
- The difference in levels. At the eastern portals there is a difference in elevation of 15 metres between the two tunnels, the old tunnel being higher. This means the new tunnel was roughly at 25 metres at its eastern portal, which is lower than the 27 metres mentioned above despite the track being on an upgrade. If the new tunnel was at 25 metres elevation then the junction would be at roughly 17 metres which would not work with the 1 in 50 gradient of the old line up to its tunnel.
- The variation from the deviation map. This document shows that the new and old routes were at the same elevation at a point around 1500 metres east of the old tunnel and just a little east of the latter day station site. The most likely location for this grade crossover is the vicinity of the South Road overbridges as suggested by the former option.
View Caversham's Railways in a larger map
Here is an interview that was broadcast on Channel 9 around 2007.
Friday, 30 January 2009
Friday, 2 January 2009
- Garmin eTrex H handheld GPS. This is a high sensitivity, basic unit at the lower end of the price and spec range. It is a rugged water-resistant design, and the high sensitivity means it is better to use indoors (such as inside a moving vehicle) when environmental conditions make it more difficult to receive the faint signals from the GPS satellites.
- Garmin serial PC data cable. This connects the GPS to the serial port of a PC. Your computer will need to have a 9 pin serial port (the old RS232 style). A lot of modern computers do not have these ports and you might also need to purchase a USB to serial adapter at extra cost if your PC is in this category. Garmin still provides only the RS232 interface on its most recent lower end units. This is a lot slower than USB, but it works satisfactorily and the cable can be connected and disconnected on the fly.
- GPS download and geotagging software. You do not need to buy this from your GPS manufacturer, as typically like the data cables, such products are unnecessarily expensive. A lot of GPSs are supported by third party products. I used the free EasyGPS software to download the tracks and geotag, which it does by comparing timestamps.
- A geotagging compatible web album or software system that can display your tracks and photos automatically in their correct locations on a virtual globe. I use Picasaweb, Google Earth and Google Maps as needed.