I asked the Collins if a train could qualify as a museum as I thought this particular train is "A place or building where objects of historical, artistic or scientific interest are exhibited, preserved or studied." Close enough I think.
Kawakawa is known for its Hundertwasser toilets and Gabriel, the steam train. I've posted plenty of photos of the toilets over the years (yes, really!) so it's the train I'm focusing on today.
I've had a growing fascination with the Kawakawa steam train, the railway station and restoration workshops for a few years now. I admire how the dedicated volunteers give hours and hours of their time and expertise to bring back to life the steam trains of old and the line on which they can operate.
They take what has been discarded by others:
and return them to their former glory:
When GB and I went for a train ride recently we travelled in the carriage at the front of the above photo.
Gabriel, the star attraction, built in 1927, is a fine example of a working steam engine and is the only one in her class left in the world. She sure knows how to attract attention.
The railway at Kawakawa was the North Island’s first railway to be opened and the first to run a rail passenger service in the North Island. It is also unique in the world as it is the only working railway in the world where the trains travel down the middle of a State Highway and right through the middle of the town.
Today the train runs as far as Taumarere Station where the original waiting room holds historical information.
Passengers can walk out on to the longest wooden curved bridge in the southern hemisphere to where restoration work is currently being undertaken. I think this is the last bridge to be restored and when it's complete, the train will be able to go to the original destination of the line - the port at Opua.
I'll have to pop back later to link to FSO where the rest of the Friday Shoot Out contributors will be posting about museums in their towns.
I hope you have a Happy Easter. Safe travels if you are travelling.