Is this NZ's dearest train set?

Last updated 15:01 02/07/2012
English Electric train
Trade Me
The retired full-sized English Electric 2-carriage train unit.

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Hutt Valley

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With a last minute bid, a man has bought a piece of Wellington's railway history.

Metlink listed the full sized English Electric 2-car train on Trade Me last week.

However, with the exception of a four-year-old who bid the $29,990 asking price - which was removed - the train had received no bids  until today.

At 11.05am today a Nelson bidder named "Hans" bid the reserve price and was unchallenged.

The train has operated in the Wellington area since the late 1940s.

Greater Wellington regional councillor Prue Lamason - who chairs Greater Wellington Rail, the council company that owns the trains - said the sale provided those with the means a rare chance to "own your own Wellington train".

"They can make very unique and quirky homes, offices, cafes and even hotels, " she said.

The English Electric trains took their final Wellington journey last week with a round trip to Melling.

The last run heralded the start of the Matangi era. Thirty-five new Matangi trains already operate out of Wellington, with a further 13 due later this year.

Negotiations have begun with two private firms, individuals and heritage societies looking to buy about 20 of the 35-strong English Electric fleet.

English Electrics, named after their manufacturer, began running in Wellington after the opening of the Tawa Flat deviation of the North Island main trunk line. The fleet began with six two-car units and was expanded almost 10-fold in the early 1950s in preparation for suburban train services to Upper Hutt.

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- The Dominion Post


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