Miniature railway at Halswell Domain on track to expand

The Waipuna Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board has agreed the Canterbury Society of Model...
The Waipuna Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board has agreed the Canterbury Society of Model and Experimental Engineers can increase the size of the area it leases at Halswell Domain for its miniature railway. Photo: Newsline
It is full steam ahead for the expansion of a popular miniature railway in Christchurch.

The Canterbury Society of Model and Experimental Engineers is set to increase the size of the area it leases at Halswell Domain for its miniature railway.

The railway operates every Sunday afternoon, weather permitting, and is popular with families who can ride the miniature trains.

Last year, the society sought a new lease agreement with Christchurch City Council so it could add a new loop of track to the railway.

The new 720m loop will bring the total length of the railway to about 2.2km.

During public consultation on the lease application, the council received 261 public submissions. All but three of the submissions supported the society's plans.

A hearings panel, chaired by councillor Anne Galloway, considered the submissions. The panel recommended the Waipuna Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board approve the new lease, which it has now done.

Board chairman Mike Mora said the miniature railway is a "wonderful asset, not just for the local community, but for the whole of Christchurch".

He said the board was happy to support the extension plans.

"The railway is a wonderful, low-cost attraction for families and the Canterbury Society of Model and Experimental Engineers has done a great job building and running the railway for many, many years," Mora said.

Mike Mora. Photo: Supplied
Mike Mora. Photo: Supplied
"They are very responsible, safety-conscious tenants and they have invested significant time and resources into developing their facilities at Halswell Domain.

"We are pleased that we can help them realise their plans for expanding the railway.

"A concern was raised during the consultation on the lease application that a small area of vegetation needs to be removed to allow for the new track.

"However, this will be replaced with a larger area of vegetation so overall there is a net gain." Mora said.

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