Ike visited Steam Incorporated, Paekakariki on the Kapiti Coast on the North Island of New Zealand. A nice restorer called Jack took him around two of its steam locomotives and one heritage diesel locomotive. All are still in use today and occasionally run on the main line. You can find out more about the Paekakariki Station here.
Jack explained what the numbers and letters on the trains mean. The letters indicate the class of locomotive and the numbers either indicate axle engines or horsepower. Some have the year in which they were made.
Ike was particularly interested in the Ab608 “Passchendaele” 4-6-2 coal fired steam locomotive built at the Christchurch, Addington Railway workshops in 1915. It was a WWI Memorial Locomotive and the first in its Ab class to be completely restored in 2014.
Question: What is the front of a locomotive called? Answer: The pilot (also known as a cowcatcher, cattle catcher or cow plough) is the device mounted at the front of a locomotive to remove obstacles on the track to avoid derailment. Here, Ike sits on the cowcatcher!
Ike helped out a bit by shovelling some coal before he left: