A train ride may be a novel diversion for holidaymakers enjoying their stay in the Bay of Islands this school break.
After years of being little more than an eyesore awaiting repair, the diesel engine and two newly-refurbished carriages are up and running at Kawakawa - albeit on a small scale.
The move by the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway has students enjoying their two-weeks break squealing with delight.
Dubbed the "School Holiday Special", the trips form part of a training exercise for drivers and guards while raising the profile of the railway these holidays.
Both carriages hold more than 100 commuters who pay $2 each way for the two-kilometre ride from Kawakawa to Moerewa.
Operations manager Mike Bradshaw said that, with lots of children around during the school break, the rides had been very popular since it started on Monday.
He said students and adults alike have hopped on to the carriages for each of the 10am, 12 noon and 2pm trips.
"Apart from the $2 charge, we also encourage people to donate and there were people who paid $5 for a trip."
He said after the holidays, the railway officials would decide how frequently the train would run.
About 400 students and 22 organisations took part in a fundraising event where they pulled the train across the Kawakawa Town on June 17.
Those interested in working as volunteer drivers or guards can contact Mr Bradshaw on (09) 4040684 or on 0211712697.
All aboard for holiday special
By Imran Ali
5:56 PM Friday Jul 6, 2007