Mainline Steam Heritage Trust was once one of New Zealand’s regular provider of steam excursions, but recently there hasn’t been a lot to ‘get on the rails’ about.
With locomotives including J1211, JB1236, KA942, and JA1240 all under their ownership, the trust moved out of their Parnell depot last year to relocate.
When the Parnell location was terminated by KiwiRail, any hope of mainline excursions in the North Island were lost. Funds are currently being raised to build a new depot in the Auckland area.
Many carriages that Mainline Steam Heritage Trust used for its excursions were also taken back by KiwiRail. In 2015, the trust purchased several AO carriages and have been in the process of restoration.
In its hay day, regular steam excursions were run throughout the country every couple of months. In the South Island, steam trains were regularly spotted on the Midland Line between Christchurch and Arthurs Pass during the winter months.
Popular excursions including The Main Trunk Trekker were popular and also saw the first big mainline runs for JB1236 and JA1240 following their restoration.
Rail enthusiasts will be hoping to see Mainline Steam Heritage Trust back on track soon.