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.