Celebrating 50 Years - Pleasant Point Museum and Railway

11 August 20

Adapted from Pleasant Point Gazette Vol.51

In February 2020, the Pleasant Point Museum & Railway celebrated their 50th year of operation. 

The railway and museum is a popular tourism attraction in the southern Canterbury region, about two hours south of Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island.

Visitors from many countries including Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Holland, China, the UK, Germany, Canada & Israel have visited the railway over the years to appreciate the preservation of history. 

This is an award-winning attraction with two steam engines, two diesels, one of the world’s only Model T Ford railcars and a 137-year-old station. 

Displays range from the country’s worst railway disaster at Tangiwai in 1953, a large model train display, to old printing machines and computers.

Hundreds of dedicated volunteers have devoted countless hours into building and maintaining a 2km long scenic route. 

Founding member, Bryan Blanchard, reflected on the past 50 years in their August edition of the Pleasant Point Gazette. 

"It’s hard to believe 50 years have passed since our railway museum was formed in February 1970 by a small ‘band’ of enthusiasts, led by a farmer from Totara Valley, Russell Paul.

All we had was a run down former NZ Railways railway station and a short length of railway line in front of the station.

Having been in the museum since day one, a lot of work has been put in by many members", Blanchard said. 

The Pleasant Point Gazette also recorded the first steaming day after COVID-19 lockdown took place on 12 July, 2020 after a 4 month closure. 

The volunteers are looking forward to their 50th Anniversary celebrations which will be help on 27 September and will feature The Mackenzie Highland Pipe Band and a bouncy castle! 

The Pleasant Point Railway and Museum is an exclusive attraction on our 19 Day Ultimate Rail, Cruise & Coach Experience. We look forward to visiting again soon. 

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