Scenic rail­way on track for awards

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS -

It was full steam ahead for the Es­planade Scenic Rail­way last week. The vol­un­teer-run minia­ture rail­way got the green light at the 2015 Trust­power Palmer­ston North Com­mu­nity Awards tak­ing out the Supreme Award.

The $1500 prize, tro­phy, cer­tifi­cate and a trip for two to the Trust­power Na­tional Awards, was ap­plauded by the 150 peo­ple who at­tended the event in the Cen­ten­nial Con­ven­tion Cen­tre.

City coun­cil­lor and se­lec­tion panel mem­ber Tangi Utikere says the rail­way will be great rep­re­sen­tives for the city at the na­tional awards to be held in Dunedin next year.

‘‘The Es­planade Scenic Rail­way is an iconic venue that re­lies on its vol­un­teer base and brings joy to many res­i­dents and visi­tors, young and old,’’ Tangi says. ‘‘ The awards are a good re­minder that our city re­lies on the good­will of vol­un­teers who so freely give of their time, skills and energy.’’

A prime play­ground at­trac­tion since 1969, the Es­planade Scenic Rail­way has been busy com­plet­ing a $247,000 re­build­ing pro­ject for its work­shop and en­gine stor­age sheds.

In ad­di­tion to car­ry­ing out com­pre­hen­sive fundrais­ing for the pro­ject, the group’s 47 vol­un­teers put in around 800 hours a month keep­ing the 2.2 kilo­me­tre track and its three lo­co­mo­tives run­ning.

A New Zealand record num­ber of 288 or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­di­vid­u­als were nom­i­nated for the an­nual Trust­power Palmer­ston North awards.

PHOTO: FAITH SUTHER­LAND/FAIR­FAX NZ

Train driver Jim Wilkin­son takes his fel­low Es­planade Scenic Rail­way vol­un­teers out of the new en­gine shed. The rail­way won at the Trust­power Palmer­ston North Com­mu­nity Awards last week .

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