Miniature railway at Christchurch domain aiming to extend network

 The popular miniature railway at Halswell Domain is hoping to expand its operations. Photo:...
The popular miniature railway at Halswell Domain is hoping to expand its operations. Photo: Newsline
The volunteer organisation that runs the popular miniature trains at Halswell Domain is seeking a new lease agreement so it can extend the railway.

The Canterbury Society of Model and Experimental Engineers has had a lease to operate their miniature railway at the Halswell Domain for 15 years.

They have built about 1.5km of track over that time, funding all the work themselves.

Every Sunday afternoon, weather permitting, the group powers up their miniature trains and offers the public rides on the railway for a small charge.

Now CSMEE is seeking permission from the city council to increase the size of the area they lease so they can add another 720m of track to the railway. The track extension will be close by the existing track so as to minimise its impact on other park users.

CSMEE is also seeking to formalise their use of the pond at the domain so they can continue to run model boat competitions and events on weekend afternoons and from 10am to 2pm on Thursdays.

Key features of the new lease application. Image: Christchurch City Council
Key features of the new lease application. Image: Christchurch City Council
The public is encouraged to use and enjoy the pond outside those hours, but CSMEE takes responsibility for maintaining the perimeter of the pond and controlling the weeds.

Said city council head of parks Andrew Rutledge: “The Canterbury Society of Model and Experimental Engineers have invested significant time and resources into developing their facilities at Halswell Domain over the years and their miniature railway is very popular with families.

“They now want to lease some additional land at the park so they can expand the railway, and we want to hear what the public think about that."

To accommodate the additional track, about 15 sq m of vegetation (including one cabbage tree) will need to be removed from near the toilets.

However, CSMEE plans to replace those plants with an additional 35 sq m of new landscaping, which will enhance the area and help form a barrier between the railway track and the public pathway.

A drop-in session to learn more about CSMEE’s plans will be held next to the CSMEE club rooms in Halswell Domain on  January 19 between 4pm and 5.30pm (assuming Christchurch is still at orange in the Covid-19 Protection Framework).

Attendees will need to show their My Vaccine Pass, scan or sign in, and wear a mask. If Christchurch moves settings, updated information about the session will be provided here. Public submissions close on February 14.

• More information about CSMEE can be found here.







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