Ex-owner of famous steam train dies

Train man: David Bryce at Kingston in 2012 PICTURE: OTAGO DAILY TIMES

The Kingston Flyer’s former owner has died.

Well-known Marlborough winegrower David Bryce died surrounded by family at home on Monday. He was 59.

Bryce bought the Flyer in 2011 and spent $1.3 million on restoration before a relaunch in 2012. After just two tourists seasons it was mothballed.

Bryce sold the vintage steam train to a consortium of local investors in February.

High school friend and business buddy Adrian Chisholm says Bryce was an entrepreneur with vision.

Chisholm says Bryce’s ill health meant he couldn’t see it through.

He says the Flyer purchase was slightly out of character – “but he saw the opportunity to own a full-size train set and just did it. That was David.”

Bryce was dad to Davey, Tim and Georgie and the former husband of Marian.

A celebration of his life will be held in Blenheim tomorrow, followed by a committal ceremony in Riverton on Monday.