The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 9 (January 1, 1929)
The Long Day Closes
An interesting sight was witnessed in the early hours of Sunday morning, 28th October last, when a strange looking train, about which the only sign of life was the fussy locomotive snorting in front, came slowly out from Invercargill station and proceeded towards Kingston. Trucks of old boilers and other weird material, and, lastly, three old locomotives—stripped of their parts—dead giants of the past, going to their last resting place—formed the train, The destination was to be the bed of the Oreti River (about a mile from Lumsden, on the Mossburn branch), and the old engines were being deposited therein to prevent erosion.
The majority of railwaymen are sufficiently imaginative to see something significant and pathetic in the passing of these old engines, once the pride of the road, and the funereal pace of the wrecking train was in keeping with the occasion. After a halt for dinner at Lumsden 50 miles out, the big breakdown crane was added to the train, and the journey continued to the dumping place.
A temporary siding about half a mile in length, running from the Mossburn line to the edge of the Oreti River, led to the dump. This temporary siding, laid, with old material, upon the undulating surface of a paddock, was hardly up to the best main line standards, but, as a sample of fast and ingenious platelaying, was quite good.
Down to the riverside the big train was slowly backed. The old engines were shunted into position, the guard stepped clear, joined the ranks of the numerous spectators, and the wreckers took charge.
Assisted by Foreman of Works Mr. Miller and Mr. Jacobson, L.P.W., the District Engineer (Mr. Morey) directed operations.
Spectacular and interesting methods were employed to throw the engines into the river. A big, heavy hardwood lever was inserted under one side of the locomotive to be dumped, and the other end being made fast to the jib rope of the crane, a signal was given to the crane driver, and his machine chattered into action. Slowly the bulky locomotive commenced to tip over, and, as the angle increased, the derelict gained momentum, until with a rush and a mighty splash the once proud “iron horse” crashed to her final resting place.page 31
“Here let us stop; this glorious scene demands
Our more minute observance….”