45 Years of The Plains Museum Anniversary Logo

We're Celebrating 45 Years!

A big event for Labour Weekend 2016!

45 years ago, in 1971 a group of people got together to save a section of the former Mt Somers branch line, which was being closed by the New Zealand Railways and to restore to a serviceable condition the Dubs & Co 'A' Class 0-4-0 tank engine to operate trains along it. Before long Ashburton Railway & Preservation Society was founded and the locomotive was in action busily chuffing along the length of line purchased from the NZR, and as the railway grew so did the attractions!

A heritage styled village was soon founded from a mix of newly constructed buildings and those transported onto the site from the wider district. While the village grew so did the collection of, now, vintage machinery and exhibits ranging from little oil powered pumps to tractors, headers and of course, traction engines.

With the popularity of the site increasing, the AR&PS soon found other organisations we're keen to come on board and the Ashburton Model Engineers, to whom the Dubs 'A' locomotive belongs, relocated to the corner of the carpark area and the Ashburton Volunteer Fire Brigade constructed a museum to display their heritage equipment. In recent times we've welcomed the Lynn Woodwork Museum and just last year the Ashburton Woodturners Club to the site.

This year we're celebrating 45 years since that very first meeting in the Red Cross rooms in Ashburton - so come along and join us at Labour Weekend 2016 for a weekend of trains, tractors, old buildings and so much more!

The Big Event!

Though we're celebrating all year, the main event will be held over Labour Weekend 2016!

Saturday October 22nd

» The Plains Railway Railfans Day*
*Bookings are essential for the Railfans Day Event, a booking form will be available later in the year once event details are confirmed.

Sunday October 23rd

» The Plains Railway Operating for the Public
» Machinery Displays
» Ashburton Model Engineers Operating
» 2pm - Church Service, recognising 40 years since the arrival of the Church

Monday October 24th

» The Plains Railway Operating for the Public
» Machinery Displays
» Ashburton Model Engineers Operating

Events are still being finalised, so check back to this page often to find out more!

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