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Railway enthusiasts in the South will have the opportunity to view a piece of New Zealand’s rail history when a passenger tour visits Dunedin early next year.
The southern leg of the 13-day "Sir Edmund Hillary Explorer" rail tour will include a trip from Oamaru to Invercargill with DA class diesel locomotives, stopping for two nights in Dunedin at the end of March.
DA class locomotives, which were in use from 1955 to 1989, were the most numerous class of engine to operate in New Zealand, 146 having been built.
Only six survive today, and the locomotives visiting Dunedin are the only two certified for main line usage.
Passengers are scheduled to visit Larnach Castle, Fort Taiaroa and the royal albatross colony during their visit to Dunedin.
The tour will also include stays in Te Anau and Queenstown and a short journey between Kingston and Fairlight on the Kingston Flyer.
Tour operator Pounamu Tourism Group spokesman Paul Jackson said the tour was "inspired by a global icon who epitomised the New Zealand spirit of adventure".
Sir Edmund’s son Peter Hillary will speak to tour participants about his father’s exploits at a Mt Cook dinner.
Earlier in the itinerary, the tour travels between Blenheim and Kaikoura on a train pulled by Ab class steam locomotive Passchendaele.
This article first appeared on www.odt.co.nz
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