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The train has been a regular sight plying the railway lines between Dunedin and Waitati, as well as further afield, since being leased from KiwiRail - initially one a one-year deal - in 2012.
Dunedin Railways chief executive Craig Osborne confirmed yesterday the lease was up and KiwiRail had exercised its right to have its equipment returned.
The railcar would be handed back to KiwiRail in early June, once it had completed the last of a series of rail tours beyond Dunedin's borders, he said.
On Saturday, 473 people took turns taking one-hour, $10 return trips from the city to Sawyers Bay.
The trips were a chance to give the popular attraction a "local farewell", as well as to give people a chance to take a short ride at a reasonable price, Mr Osborne said.
Its departure would be an "operational challenge" for Dunedin Railways, but plans to fill the gap were already being developed, including reverting to carriage trains on the Seasider route, he said.