Otira train driver's famous snow plow
Sat, 23 Jun 2012 6:09p.m.
By Hamish Clark
Video shown on 3 News of a train busting through snow in Arthur’s Pass a fortnight ago has gone global.
More than 800,000 trainspotters have watched it on YouTube, making it one of the most popular New Zealand clips on the video website, and making train driver DB Wilson world-famous.
The video of a 200-tonne locomotive blasting through metres of snow in the Southern Alps has been watched around the world.
VIDEO: Train plows through wall of snow in Arthur's Pass
“When I last checked to was over 700,000 hits, which makes me world famous,” says Mr Wilson.
DB Wilson was one of three train drivers in the cab that day. He normally brings coal, gold and milk powder through the Otira Tunnel, not clearing piles of snow.
“I was having a good day at the office. This was spectacular even from inside the cab. It's a lot of fun pushing snow.”
The only real danger they had to keep an eye out for was trees down over the line, which they cut and cleared by hand before continuing on.
“We put the engines at notch two, and it is just lumpy water really. You don't even notice it is there. The only strange thing is not being able to see the railway track in front of you.”
Filming the action was days in planning, using two cameras – one that was waterproof – with the pictures going global.
“I knew it was going to be a good shot if I was there to get the first train going through the snow, and it took two days of waiting but it was beyond my wildest expectations,” says cameraman Geoff Mackley. “I didn't expect three-quarters of a million hits on YouTube, CNN and the whole world’s media. It was a great day in the snow.”
“I have always been famous, some would say infamous,” says Mr Wilson. “It just makes me world-famous rather than world-famous in Otira.”
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25/06/2012 9:22:45 p.m.
Ray McKibbin wrote:
I taught this man every little thing he knows.
Pleased to see you're still crazy, DB.
24/06/2012 10:45:47 a.m.
Fantastic and all the more meaningful for me having done the Trans Alpine train journey after a heavy snowfall. Not as deep as this, though! Breathtaking scenery!! Would love to (I think) have been in the cab doing the ploughing.......
23/06/2012 9:45:05 p.m.
wow we had tea tonight with mr wilson...in otira!!!!!
23/06/2012 9:44:19 p.m.
Edward A Young wrote:
Wow, SMASHING STUFF, Would have loved to be in the cab with the Driver just to see this happening.
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