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The Marlborough Flyer was voted Top 10 “Best Train Journeys in Australasia” – The Telegraph UK, 2018.

The Marlborough Flyer is a majestic heritage train from a bygone era, hauled south from Picton by the historic Ab 608 “Passchendaele” (built in 1915), one of the most important and interesting steam locomotives in New Zealand. Fit for Kings!

Ab 608 was used to power a number of special trains – including Royal Tours of the South Island, such as The Prince of Wales in 1920 and The Duke and Duchess of York in 1927 (The Prince of Wales and Duke of York would both one day become Kings).

During the steam era the Ab-class was the largest type of locomotive operating on the Picton – Blenheim route. Ab 608 was also the lead locomotive on the official train from Christchurch to Arthur’s Pass for the opening of the 8.5km long Otira Tunnel in August 1923 – a feat of engineering which was the longest tunnel in the British Empire at the time.

“Passchendaele” is a wartime memorial, named after the worst battle in NZ military history, and in honour of the fallen NZ Rail workers.

Pounamu Tourism Group is the organiser for the Marlborough Flyer steam train excursions. Pounamu Tourism Group is a New Zealand registered company dedicated to world-class rail experiences in New Zealand.

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