After a few two days of poor weather (lots of rain, some snow, had to use chains for the first time in my life, heh) and two mediocre days with limited success the weather was surprisingly good today. After I somehow missed the coal train down to Christchurch (apparently it was more than 45 minutes earlier than a few days ago, d'oh!) the one in the opposite direction worked out nicely.
Trains on KiwiRail network from rail ferry terminal at Picton to Bluff. The Southern Alps are overcome at Arthurs Pass by the Otira Tunnel on 1 in 33 (3%) gradient. The longest rail bridge in NZ over the Rakaia River is near Christchurch.