Wakatipu tourism icon up for sale

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Kingston’s vintage steam train is up for sale for $2.5 million.

The iconic Kingston Flyer, which runs between Kingston and Fairlight, has been put on the market by owner David Bryce.

The sale includes the two locomotives and carriages, the café and bar businesses, 10 land titles, plant and machinery, and the rail licence.

It is advertised with Tourism Property Brokers Ltd, who says the money spent on restoration by Bryce far exceeds the asking price.

“I’ve invested a significant amount of money and committed my life to this venture of over the past two years,” Bryce says.

“For a number of reasons, including health reasons, I would like to step away and given someone else the opportunity to take the business forward from here.

“Operationally it’s a fantastic business and it has become extremely popular.”

Bryce plans to return to his home in Renwick, Marlborough, having lived the past twenty months in Kingston.

“I feel I’ve achieved what I set out to do, to get the Kingston Flyer operational after a period of time spent sitting doing nothing, and I hope a new owner will be able to continue our good work.

“It’s disappointing for me to step away, but I firmly believe the Flyer still has a good future and is a good business investment for the right person or organisation.”

The Flyer makes it last stop of the summer season on Tuesday before winter maintenance work.

Bryce saved the Flyer in 2011 – buying the mothballed 130-year-old train on Trade Me while recovering from a stroke.

“I’ve completed all the major locomotive repairs, investing heavily in restoration of the main locomotive AB795’s boiler, required to maintain its twice daily excursions for the next decade or two,” Bryce says.

“The train is in good nick, more efficient than it has ever been, and it remains a living icon of the region and of New Zealand’s rail history.”