This is the railway station area of the Beamish living museum. The very ornate railway carriage and locomotive in front (almost completely hidden from this angle) pull visitors to another part of the 300 acre site. I wanted to show this side of the station with a clear view along the small platform. Part of the main draw of Beamish is the railway and tramway, in some ways it reminds me of Auckland Museum of Transport but on a larger scale. I was stood on a bridge looking down on the tracks to take this photograph.
“L” or sometimes written as “el” is short for elevated, as you can see from this photograph. The first L train began running in June 1892 making it one of the oldest networks of its type in the world. It is one of the many iconic features of the city and has appeared in a number of tv shows and movies including Batman and Spiderman. Because of the age of the network I felt that this photograph looked best converted to black and white to give it an almost vintage look. This was taken from the back of the Hostelling International Chicago building looking north. The train was coming towards the camera turning from above South Wabash Avenue to over East Van Buren Street in the heart of the Loop area of the city centre.
One of the last photographs on my list of things to try and capture in San Francisco were the famous Cable Cars. I walked almost the entire length of the three remaining lines (approximately 5 miles) looking for good viewpoints and working out where the sun would be. Starting at the Maritime National Historical Park, I had planned to ride the tram up Hyde Street but the queue time was well over two hours. Whilst it was an uphill walk from the waterfront, it only took about ten minutes to get to the corner of Francisco Street. The afternoon sun was in the right place and after a short wait Cable Car Number 13 came up Hyde Street. The house on the right is quite unusual and not typical architecture for this area of the city. In the background, across the Bay is the famous Alcatraz Island.
This tram reminded me of the City Circle trams in Melbourne. After looking on the Museum of Transport and Technologies website that is where the tram came from. It is a W2 class originally introduced in 1923, some of which are still in service today. This tram took me on a short journey between MOTAT past Western Springs to the Zoo and on to the Aviation Collection building. Inside the tram is a rugged design, with a timber frame and characterised by fine craftsmanship.
Originally the Kingston Flyer ran between Kingston and Invercargill or Dunedin in the south. Sadly, in 1937 the passenger services on the line closed. In 1971 the Railways Department started operating the trains as a heritage service. Today the Kingston Flyer doesn’t go very far but is spectacular to see. I came across it quite by chance, nearly getting the hire car shunted off the tracks as I drove quickly across the level crossing. Many of the more rural crossings in New Zealand have no lights or barrier. Simply a sign saying give way to trains and look both ways before crossing!