The historic Kingston Flyer train, stations and railway line are being sold by receivers.

The Flyer originally ran between Invercargill and Kingston, but since the early 1980s, has operated as a summer tourist service on 14km of track between Fairlight and Kingston in Southland.

The train, track, station, associated buildings and nearly 80ha of surrounding land were yesterday offered for sale by tender by Prudential Mortgage Nominees, which is owed at least $4.7 million.

The mortgagee sale follows a decision by Kingston Acquisitions to stop the train's operations three months ago. The company, formerly headed up by property developer Dan McEwan, owns two steam trains towing up to seven fully refurbished carriages, as well as "development land" around Kingston, 35km south of Queenstown.

A sales consultant for the Bayleys real estate company, Barry Robertson, said there were 13 parcels of land, including a station and tavern, storage shed, and the railway corridor to Fairlight and Fairlight Station. Other land included residential sections and development blocks.

There was a lot of sentimentality around the Kingston Flyer and it was hoped that by offering it for tender, the train might resume running, Robertson said.

Tenders close on December 11.

Prime Minister John Key's office has said there will be no government bailout for the train.

But Kingston Community Association chairman Peter Gibson has said that if the train does not sell the community will set up a trust and try to raise funds to buy the train itself, as a "last resort".

In July last year the land and buildings were valued at $2.5 million and the development land at $3.2 million. The train was valued at $950,000, but this was considered a nominal figure.

- NZPA