Train trip to Moeraki success despite hiccup

Graffiti put the Dunedin Silver Fern railcar out of action but, apart from that hiccup, the Taieri Gorge Railway's inaugural trip to Moeraki was a success.

Taieri Gorge Railway business development manager Toby Mann said the trip to Moeraki would hopefully be the first of many.

The only thing that put a dampener on the trip was finding the Dunedin Silver Fern railcar covered in graffiti on Saturday morning, putting it out of action. A Taieri Gorge diesel locomotive was used instead.

''Last [Friday] night at the depot it was tagged over about a quarter of one side. It was over the windows as well.''

Police would be informed about the graffiti and ''unfortunately'' as a result the railcar would now likely have to be moved and housed under the cover of Taieri Gorge Railway's shed the night before it was used.

Graffiti had been a problem before, but the fact it was on Taieri Gorge Railway's only railcar and the night before a trip meant it had a greater impact this time.

Apart from that nasty surprise, the trip was a ''success'' with 94 tickets selling out in a couple of days. This meant excursions on the northern line could become a monthly occasion.

The idea of a trip to Moeraki had also attracted interest from one of the cruise ship providers, with Saturday's trip serving as a trial.

-vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz

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