Steam Up numbers high in spite of A&P Show video

JOHN BISSET/FAIRFAX NZ

The Pleasant Point Railway had a busy Easter weekend. The D16 Locomotive was in steam and the Model T railcar was on the track, providing plenty of rides and photographic opportunities for those onboard.

The Pleasant Point Easter Steam Up had a good number of visitors on Monday despite coinciding with the Mackenzie A&P Show in Fairlie.

Carriages Percy Penguin, Tana Tuatara and Polly Pukeko, along with new railcar Wally Weta, were all towed by Kiwi the Engine back and forth between the Pleasant Point Railway station and its museum over the weekend.

Pleasant Point stationmaster Marian Blanchard said the Steam Up attracted about 300 people to its first day on Saturday, and about 400 on Sunday, while more than 100 people had travelled on the train as of midday on Monday.

People waiting to board Kiwi the Engine at Pleasant Point Station on Sunday.
JOHN BISSET/FAIRFAX NZ

People waiting to board Kiwi the Engine at Pleasant Point Station on Sunday.

"It's actually busier than we thought, because Fairlie show day is usually a quiet day."

The number of visitors overall was "pretty good", she said. 

A person dressed up in a Kiwi costume had been busy handing out Easter eggs to children waiting on the station platform, and once the children arrived at the museum end of the track, they were greeted with a bouncy castle, face painting and movies screening in the old movie theatre.

Enjoying the ride are Fifield family members, from left, Mitchell, 2, with grandad Paul, Bridie, 9, and Ben, 11.
JOHN BISSET/FAIRFAX NZ

Enjoying the ride are Fifield family members, from left, Mitchell, 2, with grandad Paul, Bridie, 9, and Ben, 11.

The Easter Steam Up had been running for decades.

"Probably about 30 years. We've steamed over Easter forever, since we've had the track going down to the other end and back."

She had been involved with the station for about five years, following suit of her husband, Bryan Blanchard, who is president of the Pleasant Point Railway and Museum Society. 

Charissa and Couper Gerbich of Timaru enjoy the open air.
JOHN BISSET/FAIRFAX NZ

Charissa and Couper Gerbich of Timaru enjoy the open air.

"If you can't beat 'em, join 'em," she said.

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Bryan said the visitors came from far and wide. 

"We've been lucky, people have come from a number of places around New Zealand. " 

Train driver Dowell McLeod driving Kiwi the Engine along the Pleasant Point railway tracks on Sunday.
JOHN BISSET/FAIRFAX NZ

Train driver Dowell McLeod driving Kiwi the Engine along the Pleasant Point railway tracks on Sunday.

Hokitika woman Kim Blight was visiting Pleasant Point with her family.

She said the children had not been on Kiwi the Engine before, and they had loved it.

Waimate man Michael Bajko and his wife, Sue, were visiting the station with friends.

He said the train trip was "fantastic".

 - Stuff

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