Photo: FROM SHIP TO BUS TO TRAIN: Cruise ship passengers disembark from a bus and board the Wa165 steam train for an excursion to Muriwai and back. Trust Tairāwhiti has granted Gisborne City Vintage Railway $280,000 to go towards the $800,000 cost it faces for bridge repairs and line maintenance. (Ben Cowper)
Gisborne City Vintage Railway's mammoth task of raising $800,000 to repair bridges used by the historic Wa165 is a little easier thanks to Trust Tairāwhiti.
The trust has awarded Gisborne City Vintage Railway (GCVR) $280,000 to contribute to repair work on seven rail bridges used by the Wa165 steam train.
Earlier this month, GVR said as part of its agreement with KiwiRail for using the line to Muriwai, maintenance costs fell on the rail group.
Last month it emerged the Tūranganui River railway bridge, which is the responsibility of Eastland Group, was deemed unsafe for the Wa165 steam train following a routine structural assessment earlier in the year.
The 125-year-old Wa165 — the only surviving steam train of its kind — used the bridge to access the port area for cruise ship passengers.
GCVR is now reliant on a bus provided by Trust Tairāwhiti for boarding the train on the Reads Quay side of the bridge.
Over $530,000 was awarded to 12 community groups and initiatives in the final funding round for the year from Trust Tairāwhiti.
The largest distribution of the repairs will enable GCVR to continue providing rail experiences for whānau, community, educational and tourism excursions.
Posted: Thursday 29 December 2022