The iconic Kingston Flyer has been sold to a consortium of Queenstown investors for $2m.
The vintage steam train has been based in Kingston, on the southern shores of Lake Wakatipu, since 1971. It originally ran from Kingston to Invercargill via Gore as a passenger express when it was commissioned in the 1890s but reduced operations in the 1930s.
It became, essentially, a tourism venture in the 1980s but was mothballed due to engine problems only operating sporadically in peak tourism season.
Current owner David Bryce put the locomotive on the market last year seeking $2m for the train, the associated 80 hectare land corridor, and the station buildings in Kingston.
The investors’ spokesman, Adrian Chisholm of tourismproperties.com, said the new owners would be seeking expressions of interest from tourism operators to see what ventures could be established.
“There are a lot of moving parts to this so there’s a lot that can be done,” said Chisholm. “The new owners have an open mind and will be seeking out opportunities with local and national tourism operators to see what can be done on such an impressive estate.”
Earlier this week, long-time Kingston Flyer manager and driver Russell Glendinning died, aged 79.