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Upper Hutt rail museum on track for big year

Jun 1st, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

ALL ABOARD: An example of what visitors discover at Silverstream Railway Museum.

AN 1875 locomotive is expected to be puffing steam again by the end of the year after four years of refurbishing in Upper Hutt.

Having the engine running again will cap a busy year for the Silverstream Railway Museum, which is also about to begin construction on an extension of its track

The C Class saddle tank locomotive, built in Glasgow in 1875, was a regular performer at Silverstream Railway Museum from 1984 until 2008, before being withdrawn from service for a major overhaul.

The engine was the last of its kind to be built and is being rebuilt at weekends by volunteers with a passion for trains.

One of the volunteers, Jason Durry, says so far the restoration has seen the boiler undergo extensive repairs, and the chassis has been stripped with any worn parts repaired or replaced.

It has cost $10,000 so far, and has only been under restoration since 2008 but is expected to be completed by the end of this year, says worker Jason Durry.

“We’ve only really just started,” he says.

The project is funded by money from member subscriptions, entrance and charter fees, donations, and grants from gaming trusts and lotteries.

Everything at the railway has been built up from scratch, with most of the locomotives purchased from their previous owners, New Zealand Railways, or donated from industrial users.

He says the railway is always continuing to evolve and expand, and is constantly working on returning locomotives and other rolling stock to working order.

“Currently, we are in the final planning stages and construction has just commenced on an extension of the track,” he says.

The museum site is situated on an original part of the line from Wellington to Upper Hutt.

It has about 10,000 visitors per year, and has recently seen an increase in revenue due to a proactive marketing campaign.

“It’s quite amazing the amount of people who claim they have lived in Wellington their entire lives but never visited or knew of our existence,” says Jason.

Angela Pratt put together the follow photo essay on the Silverstream Railway Museum:

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

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