Scenic railway on track for awards
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.
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 .