Pleasant Point Railway & Historical Society Guided Tours

Pleasant Point Railway Station, Timaru, Canterbury
Come step back in time to experience a ride on a  Model T Ford railcar and museum guided tour, with the driver giving a special 45-minute conducted tour around the site.

Nestled in the small town of Pleasant Point are the museum and railway. With two steam engines, two diesels, one of the world’s only Model T Ford railcars and a 137-year-old station, there’s certainly a lot to see.

This is an award-winning attraction which has been rated as one of New Zealand's best preservation railways. But, it’s not just the trains that are on show.

We cater for people of all ages and of various mobility. A wheelchair, ramps and a stairlift are all available for people of limited mobility, simply speak to the crew who will sort it in a jiffy.

The Museum
There are two museums for you to see when you visit us.

The first is in the Pleasant Point railway station, which you can visit for free on a running day. The second is at our Keanes Crossing complex, which you ride the train down to see.

In its heyday, the Pleasant Point railway station was a busy place, with grain, wool and stock going out and fertilizer, coal and timber coming in, as well as passengers.

The station building was built in 1875 and once housed the Post Office, sending letters and telegrams until a Post Office was built across the street from the station around 1913.

In those times the Stationmaster was one of the pillars of the community and when he left the area he was usually honoured with a farewell function.

Also on display here is the old Washdyke junction signal branch. It controlled trains for both the mainline and the Fairlie branch.

The Keanes Crossing complex houses a much larger collection of displays. Among them are a vintage printery, the collection of rolling stock and locomotives as well as displays of old computers and telexes.

There is also a restored ganger’s hut, which track gangs used to stay in when they were working away from home, and a jigger shed built in a similar fashion to the old railway jigger sheds.

Model T Ford Railcar

Pleasant Point’s railcar, RM4, is a replica of one of two built by railways.

In 1925 New Zealand Railways decided to build two lightweight railcars, placed on a one-ton Model T Ford truck chassis, in Wellington’s railway workshops.

Their construction was part of a national drive by railways to reduce the costs of operating on light traffic lines where there was only a limited number of passengers. The railcars only needed one person to run them, but a train needed at least three.

After trials in the North Island, both vehicles were sent to the South Island to run in the Southland area. Rumour has it they were deliberately sent as far away from Wellington as possible.

They were not particularly popular with the travelling public either. Various nicknames were coined, such as "glass houses", "pie carts" and "tea" or "coffee pots". The latter two were due to the motor often boiling due to the large pannier bags placed across the bonnet for luggage.

Aside from stopping ventilation around the motor, these bags were also used to store children in when there was a crowd on board. At least one visitor to Pleasant Point said he could still remember such a journey during his childhood. 

One file reports how rabbits during the winter scraped ballast up over the railway line, which then froze. As the Model T came merrily along it ran over the frozen ballast and promptly derailed. As a result, railways fitted small brushes just forward of the front wheels to clear any or most obstructions. Staff promptly nicknamed them toothbrushes.

And much more.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure that services will run as advertised the right is reserved to vary, alter or cancel any service without notice and no liability for any loss or delay is accepted by the pleasant Point Railway and Museum. 

Prices subject to change.
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