Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Bay of Islands Vintage Railway


It's not often we drive through Kawakawa, but last Saturday as we passed through I stopped to take some photos of the vintage trains. Apparently the railway first began in 1864 when coal was discovered then a tramway was built 4 years later.


The old tram tracks, which still run through the town were replaced by the railway line now there and the first rails were opened in 1877. The link through to Opua was finished in 1884 and led to Opua becoming a deep sea port.


Apparently the last train pulled out of Opua in 1977 and although there were attempts to continue the rail service the tracks fell into disrepair and after 122 years it was threatened with closure.


In 1984 the railway was granted a reprieve and the Bay of Islands railway was born. There is a steam train named "Gabriel" (the green one above) - this one is currently under restoration.


There is also a diesel red engine named "Dewey" built in 1896, a blue one named "Timmy" built in 1959 and a green one named "Charlie" made in 1967.


4 trains are scheduled to run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday all year and the railway is a non-profit. It also includes a cafe and giftshop people can buy souvenirs from.


And here is one of the trains making it's way on it's journey around Kawakawa.

Linking up with My Corner of the World.

11 comments:

gz said...

definitely something to see on our next visit!

Billy Blue Eyes said...

We have a preserved railway in our village that runs to the next town, its a bit of a shoestring effort but keeps going. It's overshadowed by the GWR in Dddcot not far away which is a huge consern and a place I keep meaning to visit

William Kendall said...

Well worth preserving.

Bill said...

We used to have a railroad that came to Killybegs and went all over Ireland. Unfortuantely the railroad was discontinued in the late 1950s and early 60s and the tracks pulled up. If they kept it, I believe people today would love it and use it and it would be wonderful for the tourists.
It's great that yours was preserved.

Susan Heather said...

Have you had a ride on it. Only goes about halfway to Opua at present but we enjoyed it (I just checked my blog and it was way back in 2013). There was an interesting commentary.

Amy said...

no we didn't have a ride in it, we were only passing through.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

That's cool!! There are several trains here in the states that have been revived via tourist excursions.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Excellent that they preserved it!

Sharon said...

What a fun place to visit. Everyone loves trains!

betty-NZ said...

We were up there a few years ago and were also taken with the train, especially the tracks down the main street. Great images.

Thank you for linking at 'My Corner of the World' this week!


My Corner of the World

Rhonda Albom said...

I never knew about this. I always headed to Kawakawa to visit the Hundertwasser toilets

On the spot

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