Ride-on train ‘Thomas’ rejuvenated

After a 10-month hiatus, Thomas, the Cromwell Lions Club’s beloved ride-on train, has been nursed back to health.

The train has been rejuvenated with a new tractor body and a fresh coat of paint.

Cromwell Lions Club president Russ Fowler said volunteers from the club and the Cromwell Menz Shed spent about 250 hours on the project, Cromwell man John Lister averaging an extra 15 hours a week for the past six months.

"If anyone came down [to the Lions Club] when John was here, they were given sandpaper and put to work."

The project cost around $3000 but would have been more if not for the generosity of businesses, he said.

Celebrating the relaunch of  Thomas are Cromwell Lions and Cromwell Menz Shed members (from left)...
Celebrating the relaunch of Thomas are Cromwell Lions and Cromwell Menz Shed members (from left) Russ Fowler, David Rule, Bruce Collins, Marty Morrison, John Lister, John Tomlinson, Dennis Booth and Dave Smith. PHOTO: SHANNON THOMSON
Mr Lister said he enjoyed working on the project.

"I enjoy doing this sort of thing — it’s probably fair to say I’ve enjoyed almost every moment of it. What else would a retired man do?" he said.

"There’s a lot of satisfaction and we will be reminded of that every time we see the smiling kids — that’s what it’s all about."

Elise (2).
Elise (2).
Thomas’ rejuvenation was celebrated with a barbecue lunch at the Cromwell Lions Club yesterday for all those involved.

Two-year-old Elise, of Wanaka, and her family happened upon the gathering and she was excited to be given a ride with her dad and grandad.

The Thomas the Tank Engine fan said "Thomas choo-choo was fun."

 - Shannon Thomson

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