Exhibition Express enthrals visitors

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An exhibition hosting 150 years of KiwiRail made a day-long whistle stop at the Oamaru Railway Station yesterday as part of a 12 destination nationwide tour.

KiwiRail general manager (safety and people) Matt Ballard said the travelling exhibition celebrated 150 years of rail in New Zealand.

Dubbed “KiwiRail keeping New Zealand on the move since 1863”, the travelling Exhibition Express is drawn by a DC loco and comprises five themed purpose-fitted exhibition containers mounted on IAB wagons, plus three carriages which are used on the scenic routes such as the Trans Alpine from Christchurch to Greymouth.

Part of the exhibition features the modern KiwiRail with audio visual presentations, a history timeline covering the advent of early rail in New Zealand with items of memorabilia including railways crockery, an exhibition on staying safe around railway tracks, and must-visit places in New Zealand.

“KiwiRail is a modern business and as part of the exhibition, we also aim to show how it has grown and changed with the times,” he said.

“As part of the exhibition, we also aim to educate people, particularly children, about the importance of not walking on train tracks and motorists of being careful on level crossings.

“Trains cannot stop quickly and by teaching people, particularly children, about Train Brain safety, the exhibition helps to get the message across.”

As part of the Exhibition Express, three carriages which are used on KiwiRail’s scenic routes were included to illustrate the advantages of modern rail travel.

One was the luxurious passenger carriage with its large scenic windows, including roof windows, the second was a dining carriage with a full on-board menu including a wine list, and the third, the open sided carriage designed to provide unimpeded photography for travellers.

The final two stops for the Exhibition Express will be in Timaru tomorrow and at the Port of Lyttleton in Christchurch on Saturday.

By Jacquie Webby