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Help needed to get tiny train attraction back on track

A Picton icon runs the risk of being cut back if more people cannot be found to help.

Picton rail and sail has been transporting happy passengers of all ages around its foreshore railway line for more than 50 years.

But it urgently needs volunteers to help ensure the iconic service can continue to run for the next half century.

Vice president Brain Henstock says that for the first time in its history, the service may have to be cut back.

The retired navy warrant officer wants to help ensure the sail boat and railway service continues to spread joy.

“You can’t help but smile when you see the train,” he says.

“We’ve been in operation for over 50 years, and our price is probably the cheapest in the world at only 20 cents per passenger or prospective Americas Cup sailor.

“We urgently need new volunteers, male and female to carry us into the next half century.

“The ­financial reward is abysmal, but the joy and excitement on the faces of kids from 2 to 95 years is payment enough.”

Volunteer Jean Henstock helps keep the facility shipshape. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Drivers and station masters are needed to add to the roster, which sees people help for three hours every three months or so.

More people are needed during school holidays and when cruise ships arrive in Picton.

Ideally 60 volunteers are needed, and the team are down to about 40.

“For the first time we’re looking at cutting back as we just don’t have the people to drive the train.

“Sadly, people are so busy now and our numbers have fallen,” he says

Volunteers are needed to help keep the grounds tidy, the pool clean and maintain stock.

Brian says the rewards are well worth donating some time.

“There was a little boy who was sailing one of the boats and he asked when he had to bring it back.

“I told him when he was finished, and he couldn’t believe his luck.”

Adrianne Healey has been a volunteer for the last five years.

“A friend of mine did it and it sounded like so much fun. It’s not difficult to learn and I love it.”

Contact Graham Low on 03 573 6356 or Brian Henstock on 03 573 5119 for more information.

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