Train trip to Oamaru grows

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The number of people arriving into Oamaru for this Sunday’s Taieri Gorge Railway excursion from Dunedin to Oamaru return has swelled from 350 to 394.

Toby Mann, TGR business development and improvement manager, said more seats had been sold following the addition of another carriage. Visitors would include 50 children and their families plus “lots of couples”, he said.

Oamaru groups with links to tourism are rallying around to give visitors booked on Sunday’s train from Dunedin to Oamaru return a great experience.

Tourism Waitaki marketing manager Ian Elliott said Tourism Waitaki was helping coordinate a collaborative effort, which would ideally see plenty of action in Oamaru on Sunday.

Mr Elliott said Tourism Waitaki had organised for four representatives to board the train at Palmerston to talk to people and tell them about Oamaru and its attractions.

He hoped the town would get in behind the venture by opening as many retail outlets as possible and said people could come down to the railway station to welcome the train and help to create a sense of vibrancy.

The North Otago branch of the Otago Chamber of Commerce were to meet yesterday afternoon and would be discussing opening shops on the main street on Sunday, and the Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust are meeting this morning to discuss plans.

While Dunedin passengers explore Oamaru, the Oamaru Steam and Rail Society will use the train between midday and 2pm to take locals on a train ride south to Herbert.

This trip leaves from the Oamaru Railway Station on Humber St, and general manager Harry Andrew said people should be at the platform at 11.30am.

Tickets are still available at $20 for adults, $10 for children and $50 for a family of two adults and two children.

Tickets can be purchased from Oamaru i-site or directly from Mr Andrews by phoning 027 277 4678.

By LINDA MCCARTHY

PHOTO: Tourism Waitaki marketing manager, Ian Elliott.