More train trips to penguin colony likely

Tenth International Penguin Conference delegates depart from a Dunedin Railways train at Oamaru...
Tenth International Penguin Conference delegates depart from a Dunedin Railways train at Oamaru Harbour before visiting the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony last month. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Future Dunedin Railways trips to the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony are likely, though probably not as part of a regular service.

A Dunedin Railways locomotive rolled to the end of the Oamaru Steam and Rail Society's line at the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony for the first time on August 26. Onboard were 140 people who had travelled from Dunedin, where the 10th International Penguin Conference was being held, to see penguins come ashore.

Dunedin Railways chief executive Craig Osborne deemed the inaugural trip a success and said it was likely a matter of time before further excursions were held.

"We've now been there and we're able to go there, so if the opportunity (was) presented, we would happily go back there. I think it's probably more likely to be charter groups than necessarily a daily operation, or a regular service.

"Certainly from our perspective it was a success. Obviously the benefits are we get to host people on our trains and get them out to the region ... and somewhere they wouldn't necessarily get to go.''

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher also supported future trips.

"It allows passenger trains that come in to Oamaru to get off the main trunk line and able to disembark more easily. That's one part of it, and also the ability for them to travel around the harbour and see it in a different way is another opportunity ... to see as much of what we have as possible.''



What !!
We have a perfectly good penguin colony on the peninsular ... instead of taking people by train to Oamaru, why don't the DCC just widen the penninsular cycleway and put train tracks down ?!?!
Red lines can be used to designate Train tracks, Green for Cycles, Black for cars and it's quite obvious the council will save millions on Blue lines for swimmers and pedestrians ... water being blue of course.
A few traffic islands, give way signs, bollards, LED lighting, and few speed bumps, should be all that's required !
There's even a train sitting in a glass box doing nothing that could be fired up and put to good use without the need to import trains like the ones Auckland had so many problems with.
With the forthcoming local elections, surely one of the candidates for mayor should grab this opportunity with both hands and run with it to bring something new and exciting to DUNEDIN and not send thousands of dollars north to that other place.
To the people of our fair city, this has got to be a no-brainer !!
I'm sure that our future council could make this project a winner for the city ... I mean, really, what could go wrong ???


Advertising Feature