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.

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