Pleasant Point Museum and Railway's grand locomotive Ab699 is undergoing some long-awaited upgrades that should have it up and running by Christmas.
Christchurch-based locomotive supervisor Dowell McLeod has been in charge of working on the 85-tonne steam locomotive.
Maintenance has included repairing and recladding the boiler.
"What we are doing to it now will last the rest of its life," McLeod said.
Any repair work to the boiler had to be inspected and if it passed inspection it should be in operation by Christmas, he said.
It has been a year since it was taken out of service.
The engine entered service in 1922 and worked throughout the North Island before arriving in the South Island in 1958. It is one of only seven Ab-class locomotives locomotives left, and undergoes a yearly visual inspection and a major inspection every 10 years.
- The Timaru Herald