Full steam ahead from next month

Kingston Flyer crew member George King works on the boiler of Ab 795. Photo supplied.
Kingston Flyer crew member George King works on the boiler of Ab 795. Photo supplied.
The Kingston Flyer will emerge from its winter hibernation at the end of next month, following maintenance which has given it another 50 years of life.

With no previous boiler inspection records available when he bought the train from the receivers, managing director David Bryce launched a major "strip down" of the boiler of locomotive Ab 795 to secure its continued reliability for decades.

"It's been a very busy time during winter, and huge investment required, but when I bought the train, I made a commitment to New Zealand and the community, so it has to be done," Mr Bryce said yesterday.

"The boiler has been inspected by Stork Technical Services, of New Plymouth, and a small list of repairs has been identified and is now under way.

"All is better than expected, for an old girl built in Addington in 1927."

The season will open with the Kingston Flyer gala day on September 29. Two excursions will run daily until April 30.