Latest News From The Plains Museum
45 years of The Plains Railway
12 October 2016
This Labour Weekend, 22/23/24 October 2016, The Plains Railway is celebrating 45 years since the Ashburton Railway & Preservation Societies founding!
Saturday October 22nd» The Plains Railway Railfans Day
Bookings are essential for the Railfans Day Event, see http://45th.plainsrailway.co.nz/railfans.php for more details
Sunday October 23rd» The Plains Railway Operating for the Public
» Dubs & Co 'A' 64 and Rogers 'K' 88 will be in action
» Machinery Displays
» Ashburton Model Engineers Operating
» 2pm - Church Service, recognising 40 years since the arrival of the Church
» Various Stalls
Monday October 24th» The Plains Railway Operating for the Public
» Rogers 'K' 88 & Vulcan Railcar RM 50 will be in action
» Machinery Displays
» Ashburton Model Engineers Operating
» Various Stalls
Easter Open Days
21 March 2016
We're open both Saturday and Sunday (26 and 27 March) of Easter this year!
We're running both our vintage railcar RM 50, and one of our steam locomotives both days and as an extra special treat a group from The Canterbury Military Vehicle Club are coming along to do a small WWI era display, complete with people dressed in full NZ and Australian uniform!
Running kicks off at 11am and continues through til 4pm both days, and the Lynn Woodworking Museum, Ashburton Fire Museum and the Ashburton Woodturners will be open and The Ashburton Model Engineers will be running their miniature trains for all to enjoy!
So pack yourself a picnic lunch - remembering to bring some bread for the ducks in the domain pond - and we'll see you on the weekend!
45 Years of The Plains Museum
09 December 2015
Planning is just getting underway for a celebration of 45 years of The Plains Vintage Railway & Historical Musem over Labour Weekend 2016!
At this stage the event is likely to run like our 40th anniversary event, with a railfans day for all the rail enthusiasts and photographers out there, followed by two days of running for the public, hopefully with a variety of displays and other attractions on site!
So mark your 2016 calendars now for October 22nd, 23rd and 24th and come enjoy our 45th Anniversary!
2015 - 2016 Running Days
13 August 2015
We have confirmed our 2015-2016 running days through to January 2016, head over to the Running Days page now to check them out.
Our first running day of the season is September 6th, Fathers Day. If you're a Dad come along and with your fare-paying child you'll be able to ride for free! A great way to spend the day, riding behind Rogers K 88 - one of New Zealands most historic locomotives!
19 July 2015
As you may have seen or read elsewhere, we have recently acquired the former Linwood (Christchuch) Locomotive Depot 70ft Turntable.
This turntable is large enough to turn the biggest of New Zealand locomotives, including our very own Ja 1260.
We'd like to thank KiwiRail, The Rail Heritage Trust of New Zealand, Smith Crane & Construction, Yeatman Brothers Limited and Ashburton Crane Hire for their help in securing, purchasing and transporting this 35tonne behemoth from its former home to its new home at The Plains Railway.
At this stage, we have no timeline for the installation of the turntable, though its hoped to do it in the mid-term rather than long-term. Installation costs are likely to be greater than the total expenditure so far, so if you'd like to donate towards to turntable (either to help us pay for our costs so far, or for future use in its installation) head to our GiveALittle page (link in the sidebar) and donate to us, add 'Turntable' into the Comments section of the form and we'll make sure it gets where you intended.
Wheels Week Running 2015
27 April 2015
For Ashburtons Annual Wheels Week we will once again be running on the first weekend of the event, Saturday May 2nd and Sunday May 3rd!
Running, as usual, kicks off at 11am and the train will run through til around 4pm. The historic Rogers K 88, which you can learn more about in our Vintage Railway Section, will be operating across both days with our train of passenger cars from the early years of the twentieth century.
The Wheels Week Running is also likely to be our last operating weekend before we take a break over our winter maintenance season - so make sure you come along and see us in action before the winter break!
22 April 2015
We're excited to annnounce the return of our Image Gallery to the website, to find it click on the Image Gallery link in the navigation box!
We've changed how the image gallery works a bit, by creating a group on flickr for anybody and everybody to add their images to, the website will then display a selection of up to 20 images from the group on the Image Gallery page - so head on over to our flickr group - https://www.flickr.com/groups/plainsrailway - now and add your images from The Plains Vintage Railway & Historical Museum for all to see and enjoy!
March 15th Running Day
11 March 2015
With the lifting of the total fire ban in the Ashburton District and with a couple of heavy thundery showers having passed through in the last week, we're happy to confirm that we'll be running steam for the first time this year on Sunday 15th of March!
Rogers K 88 will be operating with rides every half hour from 11am til 4pm, you'll be able to buy icecreams and drinks from our station shop so pack up a picnic and come and spend the day exploring our museum! Alongside the railway there is plenty of other things to see, from historic buildings and shop displays to vintage tractors and machinery.
We'll see you on Sunday!
New Website Section and February 22nd Running.
15 February 2015
Our new look website continues to expand! We have just added, to the Vintage Railway Section of our site a page detailing the three rail-mounted cranes that have found The Plains Museum to be home over the years. Over the coming weeks we hope to expand upon the other sections of our website as well, so keep your eyes peeled!
We have also altered our February 22nd running to Vulcan Railcar RM50 from the earlier indicated Rogers K 88 - this is due to the continued extreme dry conditions posing a large risk of fire if we operated a steam locomotive. RM50 was built in 1939 and is the current official speed record holder for rail travel in New Zealand, so come along and experience rail travel as it was from the 1940's til the 1970's!
New Look Website!
25 January 2015
In some much better news than we had to report last week, we have launched our new look website today!
As well as making our Running Days information a lot easier to find - its in big text at the top of every page except the home page, where its the only information on the screen - we've added new or expanded articles throughout the Attractions & Exhibits pages, updated our About Us information and added a brand new Restoration Projects Page.
On the Restoration Projects Page you will find news from all of our various restoration projects currently on the go at The Plains Vintage Railway and Historical Museum, this page will be kept regularly updated as projects progress so as not to clutter up the news page.
A mobile version of our site has also been added, which should work on most mobile devices, with the wide variety of screen sizes now out there its very hard to cover them all but in most instances you should get a working mobile version of the site if you choose to use the internet from your phone or tablet.
So have an explore through our new look site! If you find any issues let our webmaster know by and once again, enjoy our new look site!