FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Silver Fern

Posted in New Zealand, Oamaru by folkestonejack on January 3, 2016

My trip to New Zealand has been a rare trip without trains, but at Oamaru I managed to see the rather distinctive Silver Fern Railcar operated by Dunedin Railways for The Oamaru Seasider excursion train during its hour long layover in the town.

NZR RM class Silver Fern at Oamaru Station

NZR RM class Silver Fern at Oamaru Station

I found an interesting spot to watch the Silver Fern leaving Oamaru, where the South Island Main Trunk Railway crosses Thames Street on the route south to Dunedin. I thought I would just see the railcar hurtle past but was more than a little surprised to see the railcar stop on the road and let passengers on from the street with the use of a step!

This railcar (RM24) is one of only three in its class, built by Nissho-Iwai in August 1972 and best remembered for their service on daylight passenger services between Auckland and Wellington up to December 1991. RM24 has been leased by Dunedin Railways from KiwiRail since 2012 and runs on regular excursions to Moeraki and Oamaru. It’s a beautiful looking vehicle and I’m glad to have seen one running.

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