Keirunga Park Railway was the busiest railway in the country over Easter Weekend, ferrying thousands on the most scenic mini-train track in the country.

Twenty locomotives took more than 3000 people for a ride as the attaction picks up the next generation of enthusiasts.

Havelock North Live Steamers president Brian Koehler said the four-day event drew locomotives from across the country.

"We have a hilly circuit with an incline and decline, bridges, three tunnels, fully signalled – electric signals all the way round," he said. "So it gives the out-of-town members a challenge to actually get them fired up and drive them up a hill and slow down on the hill.

"Normally, they are going round a fairly flat track and it's fairly straight forward."

The track was first mooted in 1984 and completed in 1992 thanks to the tireless efforts of Steamers, who constructed the 1km track themselves.

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The narrow gauge was of international standard, as was their signalling equipment and track management.

Health and safety operated under the same legislation as amusement park rides, but Koehler said some hazards were unique to steam trains.

"It will spit sparks and make you cough, but the real ones will do the same."

The track was a popular destination for local families on the first and third Sunday of every month but it attracted thousands on special weekends such as Easter .

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