Sad end to a great day

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A series of fires possibly ignited by hot ash from a steam locomotive used to transport visitors from Dunedin to Oamaru, as part of an open day at the historic Oamaru Railway Station, dampened an otherwise “fantastic day” at the station yesterday.

Heritage co-ordinator Faye Ormandy said it was a sad finale to a great day.

“The train and the open day were very successful,“ she said.

“People came along in costume and there were a lot of memories being shared.

“Obviously the incident with the train on its return journey was a sad end.”

Chairman of Whitestone Civic Trust which owns the railway station, Peter Garvan, said there was a lot of nostalgia around the building.

“Many of those who attended talked about family members who had connections with the building,” he said.

“The building is a vital link with Oamaru.”

The Oamaru Railway Station was built in 1900 and was designed by architect George Troup.

The site was recently sold but the sale was not completed and trustees are now considering what the next step should be.

By Jacquie Webby

PHOTO: CAROL EDWARDS – Train enthusiasts take a look at ‘Jessica’ in Oamaru on Saturday.