‘Disappointing’ theft from Kingston Flyer carriage

The three iron plates stolen from the side of a Kingston Flyer carriage.PHOTO: NEVILLE SIMPSON
The three iron plates stolen from the side of a Kingston Flyer carriage.PHOTO: NEVILLE SIMPSON
The theft of iron plates from a Kingston Flyer passenger carriage is frustrating the team restoring the vintage steam train.

Kingston resident Ken McAuliffe, who has devoted himself to the restoration work since retiring a year ago, said the theft was only noticed a few days ago as work on the carriage was about to start.

The plates could have been taken at any time over the past 12 months, as the carriage had not been looked at closely over that time.

One had a ‘1’ denoting a first-class carriage, another read ‘Guard’, and the third showed the carriage’s number, Af1172.

Mr McAuliffe said the thief might have taken them as souvenirs, or thought they had resale value.

It was frustrating for those working on the project, and the cost of replacing them was money better spent on other things.

A full-time employee on the Flyer for eight years until it stopped operating for a while about 12 years ago, he was restoring the wooden carriages by stripping them back, doing repairs and repainting them, he said.

"It’s for the love of it — I retired a year ago and I’ve never been so busy."

There had also been vandalism recently, including stones being thrown through carriage windows.

Invercargill engineer Neville Simpson, who is leading the restoration of locomotive Ab795 and the carriages, said the plates were unique to the carriage they were taken from.

"It’s disruptive and it’s disappointing.

"We would be really happy if they were returned, no questions asked — we’d just love to have them back."

guy.williams@odt.co.nz

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter