12 Nov 2009

Queenstown council wants Kingston Flyer to stay

6:50 am on 12 November 2009

Queenstown Lakes District Council says it will fight to keep the Kingston Flyer steam train in the area should an overseas investor try to buy it.

Kingston Acquisitions, the company which owns the locomotive, was placed into receivership on Friday, owing about $4.7 million to financier Prudential Mortgage Nominees.

Its assets, which include about 80 hectares of land, buildings and the train itself, are to be put up for international tender by Bayleys Queenstown.

Queenstown Lakes District mayor Clive Geddes says his council will do whatever necessary to ensure the train stays in the area.

He says while the train has proven to be commercially difficult to operate, he is confident a buyer or buyers exist locally.

Kingston Community Association chairman Peter Gibson has said he hopes a buyer will be found for the train, or the community will look at setting up a trust to run the train themselves.