A long-term restoration project at the Pleasant Point Museum and Railway has taken a big step towards completion.
For about 10 years, volunteers have been restoring a 1912 wooden passenger carriage, and the latest addition of aluminium ceiling panels to replace the original pressed tin, has been a significant part of the the project.
President Bryan Blanchard said the 14 aluminium panels, funded by a grant, were made by a Bathurst engineering company and had just been fitted.
"The project's been about 10 years in the making, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The next things to go in are the seats."
Mr Blanchard said a team of about 10 volunteers had been working on the carriage over the years, fitting in work around other railway projects.
The carriage was last used by a mining company in Kakahu. It was offered to the railway society for a small fee, towed by a crawler out of the bush and through a riverbed, then transported by loader to the railway, where restoration work could be done.
Mr Blanchard said that although water had been coming in through the roof of the carriage, it was in reasonably good order, and the society was lucky to have it.
"The wooden carriages, when they came to the end of their lives, were just taken to certain places, tipped on their sides and burnt, and then the metal was sold for scrap."
There's no target date for completing the restoration project, but when it's done, the carriage will be added to the society's rolling stock; which will then comprise two steam engines and four carriages.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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