Turntables

The 56-foot-long turntable at Keanes Crossing is thought to have been built at the turn of the century and was originally used at Cromwell. It is capable of carrying the Ab steam locomotive.

The combined weight of the Ab and the turntable is about 100 tons and if the balance is right one person can push the turntable around.

The turntable centre-point has a foundation of 20 metres of concrete. On top of the centre point is a very large ball race, which allows easy turning with a very heavy weight. This turntable is of the same style that used to be at Fairlie when the branch line was operating.

The society also uses the former Hinds water vat to fill up the engines with water. In one go, this water vat fills up about half of Ab 699's tender (which has a 3500 gallon capacity).

Beyond the signal box at Pleasant Point is a wagon turntable. It was one of many that, for about a century, from the 1870s was used to allow railway wagons to be turned and pushed into warehouses.

This turntable was installed in 1998 by the Pleasant Point Lions Club, with help of a grant from the Rail Heritage Trust of New Zealand. It allows the Model T Ford to be turned around for its return journey. The cap in the centre of the turntable was made in the Otago foundry in 1875.

The Museums

There are two museums for you to see when you visit us.

The first is in the Pleasant Point railway station, which you can visit for free on a running day. The second is at our Keanes Crossing complex, which you ride the train down to see.

In its heyday, the Pleasant Point railway station was a busy place, with grain, wool and stock going out and fertilizer, coal and timber coming in, as well as passengers.

The station building was built in 1875 and once housed the Post Office, sending letters and telegrams until a Post Office was built across the street from the station around 1913.

In those times the Stationmaster was one of the pillars of the community and when he left the area he was usually honoured with a farewell function.

Also on display here is the old Washdyke junction signal branch. It controlled trains for both the main line and the Fairlie branch.

The Keanes Crossing complex houses a much larger collection of displays. Among them are a vintage printery, the collection of rolling stock and locomotives as well as displays of old computers and telexes.

There is also a restored ganger’s hut, which track gangs used to stay in when they were working away from home, and a jigger shed built in a similar fashion to the old railway jigger sheds.