Wanganui's Tramways Trust wants to extend its tracks to Majestic Square.

That scenario is part of the trust's strategic plan to be presented this week.

Routing the famous No 12 tram - affectionately known as Mabel - down Victoria Ave would provide the best return on the cost of building more tracks, trust chairman Kritzo Venter says.

A possible extension of the tram tracks has long been discussed, and a Victoria Ave route as far as Majestic Square is favoured over a riverside alternative.


The extension into the city centre would add up to another 500 metres of track and connect the tourist precinct with central Wanganui. The tram would pass important landmarks, such as the Watt Fountain and Rutland Hotel.

"Another activity would greatly enhance the main-street feel of the avenue," Mr Venter said.

There is enough room in the avenue, and the curve to get around the fountain was no more difficult than that leaving the tram shed on Taupo Quay. The tracks could be a loop or the tram could go to Majestic Square and back on the same route.

"That may be as far as we take it, given that we are not a large town."

The work could be done in stages, with the construction method agreed with the council.

The trust has no money for extending the tracks, but Mr Venter said reaching agreement on a route was a first step toward getting it. There are no indications as to the cost of such a project but it would be expensive.

The strategic plan will be tabled and a summary presented at the trust annual general meeting in the Wanganui War Memorial Centre on Wednesday. The meeting begins at 7pm and is open to the public.

"If people have got constructive feedback I am always happy to welcome them," Mr Venter said.


The strategic plan is a broad-brush effort, extending out for 30 years. Longer tracks are a major focus - the present tracks are just 180m from the tram shed to the Waimarie wharf - a very short ride. A riverbank route was another possibility. It would have a historic precedent, but be twice the length of a Majestic Square extension.

Mr Venter has chaired the trust for two years. It has five trustees, with he and Robert Gaskin appointed by Wanganui District Council, while Ed Boyd, tram donor David Harre and Pat Seconi are the other three.

Mr Venter said the tourist precinct was the right place for the tram shed despite flood risk.

In the June flood the electric motor of No 12 was damaged. It is to be taken apart and sent to Palmerston North for repair during October and November, and the trust hopes to have the tram running again in early 2016.

Electrics in the tram shed were also damaged, and need to be recertified. All the repairs are covered by insurance.

In future, provided there was warning, Mr Venter said the tram could be either raised above flood height or trucked away until water recedes.