This list is almost certainly not complete and has been put together from a number of
public sources including Continental Railway Journal and Locomotives International. The black
and white illustrations are courtesy of Ray Schofield and have been chosen to show what
are best described as non-standard types... Except where stated, the colour pictures are
mine from October 2002 - there are more in my New Zealand steam
holiday (updated 15th March 2003).
Please note that many of these operations are seasonal and even then may operate only
at weekends or selected weekends. This page is intended as a guide to what is available
and you will need to make the appropriate enquiries before attempting to visit.
FRONZ have finally got round to producing a global website covering New Zealand
Trains and Trams, if it is maintained then this will be a very welcome
additional resource, see http://www.new-zealand-trains-and-trams.org.nz/.
Additional information - particularly further links to the organisations' web pages
would be most welcome.
N1 Bay of Islands Vintage Railway (Northland) @
Ran from Kawakawa to Opua until services were suspended in 2000. The highlight was said
to be the run down the main street of Kawakawa. Stock includes a Pecket 4-4-0T
N2 Whangarei Steam and Model Railway Club (Northland) @
This has a short railway in the Heritage Park at Mauna, some 5km west of
Live steam days are held periodically in association with the local Environmental Museum.
Likely power is a Pecket 0-4-2T.
N3 The Mainline Steam Trust (Auckland) @
This had the use of the former diesel depot at Parnell, Auckland but moved
out in 2015. A number of
locomotives were based here including some South African imports. The Trust works regular
main line excursions. The trust has depots in Wellington and Christchurch (South Island).
See the website for more information - http://www.mainlinesteam.co.nz
N4 Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT), Auckland
Apart from its static exhibits, 2km away is the Western Springs Railway
which operates irregularly. Power is likely to be one of their small tank locomotives. See
the website for more information - http://www.motat.org.nz. They
also have operational trams (occasionally use a steam tram) and stationary steam engines.
John Raby's pictures of the locomotives in action are on one of my New Zealand steam holiday web pages.
N5 Glenbrook Vintage Tramway (Auckland) @
This major vintage train operation runs regular services including special
enthusiast weekends. They have a number of ex-mainline locomotives. See the website for
more information - http://www.railfan.org.nz/
This is their Alco Mallet:
N6 Bush Tramway Club (Waikato) @
This is near Huntly and only operates on the first Sunday of the month
from April to December. As the name implies it is host to an interesting collection of
unusual species including Climax, Heisler and Price logging locomotives. See the website
for more information - http://www.bushtramwayclub.com.
This is a Price CB type:
This is F Class 0-6-0ST (Dubs, 1171/1878)
N7 Goldfields Steam Railway
This line from Waihi to Waikino operates a mixture of small steam and
N8 Tauranga Museum and Historic Village
(Bay of Plenty)
May operate a steam locomotive. (I have since found a note on a private
website which stated the museum closed in 1999.)
N9 Waikato Railway Museum, Te Awamutu
Described as 'difficult to locate' and 'a large barbed wire compound'
between the Anchor Dairy Factory and the local racecourse had three ex-main line
locomotives in 1998. I believe it is in the care of New Zealand Railway and Locomotive
Society, Waikato Branch. At one stage it was said to be open on 'the third Sunday of the
N10 Steam Incorporated, Paekakariki
Alongside Highway, 40km north of Wellington. Several steam locomotives for
main-line excursions are kept here. They have a magnificent set of traditional red
carriages. See the website for more information - http://www.steaminc.org.nz/. There is the
Wellington Tramway Museum nearby.
N11 Silver Stream Railway, Upper Hutt (Wellington) @
They have a large operational Ka class, a C class and a number of small
tank locomotives are here and operate a passenger service over a short but attractive
line. See the website for more information - http://www.silverstreamrailway.org.nz./.
Picture by Nick Lera
N12 Gisborne City Vintage Railway Society Inc (Eastland) @
The society has restored Wa 2-6-2T 165 which is used from time to time for
public excursions. For some time the line was out of action but Trevor Heath
tells me (1st January 2016) that's it's back in operation. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O059YrB0kbY
N13 Tokomaru Steam Engine Museum
This is 20km south of Palmerston North. It has a superb collection of
restored stationary steam engines and two steam rollers. It also has one or two small
operational steam locomotives (for a small oval of track) as well as an unrestored Climax
and Price C. See these websites for more information - http://www.pcurtis.com/tokomaru.htm
and http://www.tokomaru.com. There are some pictures
of the stationary steam here in my October 2002 report.
In NOvember 2015, the museum wqs put up for sale as the owners want to retire
after many years running it.
N14 Whangaparaoa Steam Railway (Auckland)
The 15 inch gauge Whangaparaoa Steam Railway http://www.rail.co.nz, is a friendly family run affair
catering for families every weekend, it uses 2-4-4T Little Toot on a loop in recreated
N15 Feilding Steam Rail (Manawatu) - added 22nd April 2003.
Feilding Steam Rail is north-east of Palmerston North. They have leases
for a Dubs F 0-6-0, a Dunedin build Wab 4-6-4 Tank engine, and a X class 4-8-2. The F and
the W are operational and mainline certified. They have their our own rail depot with
three large rail sheds and are building a fourth. They can open up for visitors any day of
the week and we have working bee's on Wednesday and Saturday. See www.steamrail.org.nz.
South Island Click here for
S1 Reefton (Westland)
Not an operational site, but notable for Fairlie 0-6-4T on display in
At the Kamara Rest Area, Grey Valley between Greymouth and
Reefton is a newly restored Davidson locomotive (25 out of 26 built). This is
John Raby's photograph (added 1st February 2017).
S2 Shantytown, Greymouth (Westland) @
This is a replica of a West Coast gold mining town at the turn of the
century with a short steam-operated tourist railway. See the website for more information
- http://www.shantytown.co.nz/ and my October 2002 report. The picture shows their type 'B'
S3 Weka Pass Railway (Canterbury) @
An 11km tourist railway from Waipara to Waikari over part of the former
Waiau branch. 4-6-2 A 428 works trains when the fire risk is low. See the website for more
information - http://www.wekapassrailway.co.nz/
and my October 2002 report.
S4 Ferrymead Trust, Christchurch (Canterbury)
This has a large collection of locomotives in Ferrymead Historic Park with
both operational short tramway (standard gauge) and railway which are worked on open days.
Some of their trams work in Christchurch city centre. This is Wd Class 2-6-4T 357 (Baldwin
19261/1901): Picture by Nick Lera Their website is www.canterburyrailsociety.co.nz.
S5 Canterbury Steam Preservation Society, Christchurch (Canterbury) @
The society has a short operational circular railway at McLean's Island.
See the website for more information - http://www.steamscene.co.nz/
(link amended 26th April 2014).
This is another Price loco (148/1943) which is based on Heisler principles with 'V'
disposed cylinders driving onto a longitudinal shaft:
This is a Fowler 0-4-0T (16426/1924) built for the Public Works department
S6 The Plains Railway, Tinwald, Ashburton (Canterbury) @
A small operational museum with a collection including a number of ex-main
line steam locomotives. See http://www.plainsrailway.co.nz.and my October 2002 report. Picture by Nick Lera
S7 Pleasant Point Railway and Museum (Canterbury) @
At Kearnes Crossing, 2km from Pleasant Point Village. A museum with a
number of ex-mainline steam locomotives and a short railway. See the website for more
information - www.pleasantpointrail.org.nz.
Picture of L class by Nick Lera
S8 Oamaru Steam and Rail Inc
At Oamaru Harbour, next to the Tyne Street Heritage Area. It operates
trains through the harbour complex with a small tank locomotive. See the website for more
information - www.oamaru-steam.org.nz/.
by Nick Lera
S9 Otago Early Settlers Museum, Dunedin
Not an operational site, but notable for Fairlie 0-4-4-0T 'Josephine' on
display. This 1872 locomotive is the oldest in the country and reportedly worked its first
train. See the website for more information - http://www.cityofdunedin.com/city/?page=sites_osm.
S10 Otago Steam Trust, Dunedin
The trust has a restoration work shop in Minerva Street on the outskirts
S11 Ocean Beach Railway, Dunedin (Otago) @
This is run by the Otago Railway and Locomotive Society and has been
running 'preserved' trains for 40 years. Current operational stock comprises small tank
locomotives. See the website for more information - http://www.obr.org.nz.
I visited here in October 2002.
S13 Project Steam Dunedin Inc
This organisation is restoring two P Class 2-8-0s recovered from
the Clutha River in 1992. See http://ourpage.co.nz/psd/
for more information.
S12 Kingston Flyer (Southland)
Running between Kingston and
Fairlight, the regular power was one of
two Ab 4-6-2. See the website for more information - http://www.kingstonflyer.co.nz/.
(link now dead). I visited
Kingston as part of my October 2002 holiday. Alas,
news reports in July 2009 indicated that the parent company is effectively
bankrupt and there are some doubts as to whether the railway will operate the
normal season starting in October 2009 - check carefully for updates locally
before visiting (11th July 2009). The railway reopened under new ownership on
1st October 2011 (5th January 2012). However, it has once again been put up for
sale - http://www.trademe.co.nz/property/commercial-property-for-sale/auction-584617745.htm
(17th May 2013). Latest reports are not at all optimistic
(8th June 2013). The Kingston Flyer has finally been sold again, this time to a
mystery buyer, see http://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/89720836/kingston-flyer-sold-to-mystery-buyers
(25th February 2017).