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All aboard . . . Oamaru Steam and Rail Society general manager Harry Andrew is extending pay-what-you-can Sunday train rides. PHOTO: GUS PATTERSON

The Oamaru Steam and Rail Society is extending its pay-what-you-can promotion.

Last month, the society started offering Sunday train rides for a donation. Because it had been so successful, the promotion would continue for the rest of August, general manager Harry Andrew said.

On the busiest day, 390 people took the trip from the Harbourside Station in Itchen St to the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony.

Mr Andrew was concerned families could be under more financial pressure when the wage subsidy ran out, and he did not want anyone to miss out on being able to enjoy a train ride.

“We had a bit of a talk about it and decided to extend [the promotion],” he said.

“I want everyone to have the opportunity.”

The usual ticket price was $10, and Mr Andrew noticed the people who looked “hard up” tended to pay more than those who looked better off.

The train service attracted more families to the Oamaru Harbour area, he said.

“If we don’t do it, what are the [young kids] going to do? They will be saying there is nothing around.”

A lot of New Zealand tourists, many from the North Island, had taken advantage of the donation promotion.

“It’s a great time to see our country.”

The society runs four trips on Sundays, the first at 11am and last at 2pm.