It's all aboard for Whanganui Vintage Weekend

By Anne-Marie McDonald

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TINKERING ABOUT: SteamRail Wanganui will be back for this year's Vintage Weekend.PHOTO/FILE
TINKERING ABOUT: SteamRail Wanganui will be back for this year's Vintage Weekend.PHOTO/FILE

SteamRail Wanganui will be holding an open day as part of Whanganui Vintage Weekend, offering the public rides on a rail trolley.

Mark Seconi from SteamRail Wanganui said on January 25, for a gold coin donation, the public will be able to take a 10-minute trip along a section of railway line next to the organisation's Taupo Quay headquarters.

SteamRail Wanganui will also open their headquarters and put on static displays of other vehicles such as shunt engines, which cannot take passengers.

Mr Seconi said the organisation had taken part in last year's Vintage Weekend, and it had been a great success.

"We had a lot of visitors, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves," he said.

The trolley - also known as a jigger - was used by railway workers to travel easily along the tracks.

"Riding a jigger is great fun," Mr Seconi said. "If you've never ridden the rails in Whanganui before this is an easy opportunity to do so, for only a gold coin donation." He said KiwiRail had given SteamRail Wanganui permission to use what's known as a "block of line" to operate the jigger. Rides will be offered between 10am and 4pm.

On January 24, a railcar from Pahiatua, the RM31 Tokomaru, will bring around 50 passengers to Whanganui for the Vintage Weekend. It will offer four trips for Whanganui people, and bookings can be made at the Whanganui i-SITE.

Mr Seconi said this class of railcar was used on the Whanganui rail line until 1959, and the Marton-New Plymouth rail line until 1972.

"So this visit is exciting because this year's Vintage Weekend will see the railcar's first visit to this area in over 40 years."

Mr Seconi said the RM31 Tokomaru's visit was organised by the Pahiatua Railcar Society.

-For more information on the Whanganui Vintage Weekend, visit www.vintageweekend.co.nz.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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