The Fun Train finally back on track
After 18 months South Taranaki’s Neighbourhood Support train is back on track. South Taranaki Neighbourhood Support co-ordinator Wendy Foreman says she had the idea for the train four years ago.
“I wanted to assemble a train consisting of wagons and an engine, so we could take them out into the community, as a fun activity for the children and to promote South Taranaki Neighbourhood Support.”
Wendy says with the help of volunteers she was able to create a barrel train named the Fun Train.
She says during the summer of 2018 and 2019 the Fun Train appeared at several community events and was a popular attraction for families.
“In November 2019 the train was taken to the Egmont A&P Show to provide fun rides for children.”
She says during the morning Neighbourhood Support personnel became aware that the train did not have the required registration, and rides stopped.
“We were unaware that we needed to register the train as an amusement device. Someone had called Worksafe and complained. We were gutted. The children were upset that they couldn’t get on the train.”
Wendy says it took 19 months to get the train registered.
“We were stonewalled everywhere we went. We added new frames for under the carriages and upgraded the train with the help of our lovely sponsors. All the work has made the train bigger and stronger.”
She says without the support from local businesses the train would still be off the rails.
“Bill Schrader is one of many volunteers who have put in their own time to get the train back on track. John Burling from Carac Group gave us the couplings and let us have the new tyres at what he paid for them.
Karl Newport from South Taranaki Panel and Paint kindly painted all the wagons underneath once Ace equipment put in the new metal supports underneath and widened them. Tanya Grant is a sponsor of one of the wagons and her business paid for some of the hi vis vests that we needed.”
She says it is a relief to have the train running again.
“Without the support from the businesses we wouldn’t have the train.”