Acknowledging preservation innovation

13 Jun

Every Queens birthday weekend FRONZ (Federation of Railway Organizations of New Zealand) members meet for a catch-up. A key aspect on the event is announcing the annual awards for rail preservation and innovation.
This year Canterbury scored well with Ferrymead taking the Tramway Restoration Award for the Heritage Tramways Trust/Tramway Historical Society restoration of Roslyn No. 1 and the Building Structure Award for recently-opened Tram Barn 3 housing three city trams pending the city tramway re-opening. Congratulations to all involved. Ferrymead arguably turns out some of the world’s finest tramcar restoration projects. Roslyn No. 1, since sent to its owner Otago Settlers Museum, is a fine example. To add “art’’ to Ferrymead’s work is no exaggeration.
Interestingly, this year Weta Workshop presented an award for creativity and innovation to Rotorua-based Rail Cruisers Ltd for a cute high-tech rail vehicle based on a golf course vehicle. The mostly automated petrol-electric cart travels, I suspect, on parts of the railway system no longer in use.

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