Plains celebrates 50 years

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Captions:SPECIAL CELEBRATION Photo 18 Cake with Ashburton Rail and Preservation logo Photo 48 Mayor Neil Brown, original member and oldest member Michael Ross 70 and one of the two youngest members Jack Tait cutting the cake Photo 55 Mayor Neil Brown, original member and oldest member Michael Ross 70 and one of the two youngest members Jack Tait cutting the cake Photo 62 Mayor Neil Brown cut the ribbon on the Dubs the Plains first train to open the 50th anniversary
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It’s rare to have to queue for a train but that’s what happened at The Plains Vintage Railway’s 50th anniversary weekend.

About 700 people rode the Dubs, rail car, JA1260 and K88 Kingston Flyer on Saturday and Sunday.

President Lorayne Oakley estimates more than 2000 people passed through the gates for the anniversary.

Ashburton mayor Neil Brown, in his speech before he cut a shining gold ribbon on the Dubs – the first train to run at the Plains 50 years ago, acknowledged volunteers over the years for having given Ashburton such a wonderful asset.

Original Plains member Michael Ross, 70, and 15-year-old member Jack Tait cut an anniversary cake decorated with the railway’s logo.

CAKE CUTTING: Ashburton mayor Neil Brown and original Plains member Michael Ross watch young member Jack Tait cut the anniversary cake.

Visitors enjoyed not only seeing and riding the trains, they also walked around the facility’s historic village, and viewed traction engines, vintage cars, and working displays of chaff cutting and a threshing mill. Young and old enjoyed a variety of activities, including stilts and
skipping ropes.