Dad’s Day train rides popular
Dads took pride of place on the Esplanade Scenic Railway in Palmerston North on Father’s Day, with 196 of them catching a free ride with paying little customers.
Among them were three dads with 3-yearolds, whose photo riding with their babies three years ago was used as a poster by the railway society to promote the 2017 offer.
Railway society president Grant Taylor said it was a bumper day for the little railway as hundreds of families visited Victoria Esplanade on Sunday.
The Father’s Day promotion was supposed to kick off at 1pm, but Taylor said after running the train for a 2-year-old’s birthday party at 11am, queues had already formed.
‘‘The queues stayed at both stations for the full day, and we carried a tremendous amount of passengers.’’
The railway’s takings for the day will go toward fundraising for the planned new station, which it hoped to start building in March.
The replacement for the ageing ticket house would complement the new railway shed that was opened in September 2016.
Taylor said every cent the society made went back into improvements at the Esplanade.
Beyond the new station it would be contemplating whether to make extensions to its tracks, with a link to the new Junior Road Safety Park that is currently under construction being one of the possibilities.
‘‘There is a lot of exciting development going on with our depot and new station, the Wildbase Recovery aviaries and the bike park.’’
But Taylor said no matter how many enhancements the society made to the railway operation, it would stay true to its community roots.
It would stay a totally volunteer organisation, with members adamant they did not want to ever turn professional.
Dad’s Day train with from right, Cameron Fryer with dad Dave Fryer, Maddi Nicholls with dad James Nicholls and Lincoln Hoyle with dad Daniel Hoyle.