March 31st we took a train in Dunedin to Pukerangi, so we could see the Taleri Gorge (New Zealand).

Dunedin railway station opened in 1906, a true gingerbread house. In 1990 New Zealand Rail closed the Central Otago line, and it was bought by the Otago Excursion Train Trust and the City Council to keep it running as a tourist attraction, setting up the Taieri Gorge Railway Ltd.

The trip lasts 58 km. with a maximum altitude of 254 m., although it feels much much higher. The maximum gradient 1:50, and it goes through 12 tunnels following the route: Dunedin, Wingatui, Salisbury, Parera, Mount Allan, Hindon, Arthur’s Knob, The Notches, The Reefs, and Pukerangi, using a Mitsubishi DJ Class locomotive and Scarrett wooden body passenger coach carriage built in 1937 to a 1907 design.

There’s plenty of time to take pictures of the spectacular views, and to enjoy the pleasant ride. Particularly if you enjoy the fellow passengers. In our case we sat with Lt. Col. (retired), ex-CIA agent, and CNN Middle East comentator, Rick Francona and his wife Emily (also a retired Air Force intelligence officer). More on that in another blogpost.