A fantastic walk-up crowd on Sunday has left Oamaru Steam and Rail general manager Harry Andrew a very happy man.
The Taieri Train was in town on Sunday and brought with it 394 passengers. While in town Mr Andrew borrowed the train for a fundraiser.
He used the train to take families on a trip to Herbert to celebrate Father’s Day, and up until Sunday his response for the train ride had been slow, but Oamaru came out and supported his fundraiser.
Originally he was after 300 people to make the fundraiser viable, but had decided 250 passengers on the trip to Herbert would be more realistic.
“I was totally blown away, I have hoped for around 250 with ticket sales being slow, but like Oamaru usually is, families left purchasing tickets to the last minute, the turnout was fantastic, I had 336 people on board so I’m just stoked,” he said.
Mr Andrew was using the Taieri Train to help restore the 1921 Fowler Locomotive, which was used as play equipment in the Oamaru Public Gardens.
He is confident he made between $4000 and $5000 dollars from the train ride.
“Thankfully we got the support we did, because if we didn’t then we would’ve made nothing from the fundraiser.”
The success of Sunday’s train ride has Mr Andrew consider more train rides in the future.
“I’d look at hiring the train again and trying to go further, but if I do that then it’s going to cost more and mean people will have to pay more for tickets.”
They require moe than $100,000 for the restoration of the train, with a new boiler set to cost between $65,000 and $75,000.
By BRAYDEN LINDSAY
PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY – Harry Andrew with the 1921 Fowler Locomotive which Oamaru Steam and Rail are looking to fix up