INDEPENDENT NEWS

All Aboard! Tāhunanui's New Train Is On Track

Published: Fri 17 May 2024 01:24 PM
Tāhunanui Liaison Councillor Campbell Rollo welcomes the return of a new and improved train.
“I am thrilled that the Lions are committed to replacing the train. This is a hugely iconic playground that many generations of Nelson have a story to share with. This news continues that story.
“If I was going to submit a design, I would love to see a steering wheel so the kids can pretend to be the train driver, and a bit of colour, orange is my favourite.”
Councillor James Hodgson and Nelson Mayor Nick Smith visited Tāhunanui Primary to chat with the tamariki about what they want the train to look like.
Mayor Nick and Councillor Hodgson say there was a clear trend from the kids on what they wanted to see.
“If I had to wrap it up in a sentence, I'd say multiple carriages, interactive components, and colour, lots of colour,” Councillor Hodgson says.
“The kids put a lot of thought and creativity into the pictures, and many had very good explanations behind their pictures. There were some budding graphic designers and project managers in the group,” Mayor Nick says.
As for potential colour, Mayor Nick and Councillor Hodgson can’t agree. Councillor Hodgson likes blue and Mayor Nick is siding with Councillor Rollo and orange.
“It might need to be a train with multiple colours,” laughs Mayor Nick.
“I’m nostalgic about the train returning to the Tāhunanui Beach playground. I, like so many families, played on it when I was a child and with my own children and look forward to further generations having this experience.”
Installation of the new-look train is expected to take place in September. Prior to this, Council will be preparing the ground and installing a new concrete footing. The train's cost has been funded mainly by the Lions, but Council will contribute $3000. A replacement train is on track to return to Tāhunanui but we need your help to choo-choo-choose what it might look like!
Paul Milne, President of Nelson Host Lions, says a plan for a new, upgraded train is in the works, this time made of wood.
“The timber has been donated by Mitre 10 MEGA, and the Waimea Menz Shed will be building the train. So, what we do know is that it will be wooden, but we are looking to the children of Nelson to help us decide what the train will look like for future generations.”
Design ideas can be made through Shape.nelson.govt.nz. The ideas can be written and/or illustrated.
In early September 2023, the much-loved concrete train at the Tāhunanui playground, installed in 1964, suffered considerable damage, collapsing one of the carriages. While it is not known if the damage was intentional or accidental, the broken section of the train exposed pieces of its internal steel reinforcing, revealing it had rusted.
This type of internal structural failure cannot be repaired, and the remainder of the train was removed as it was no longer a safe piece of playground equipment for children to enjoy.
Members of the Nelson Host Lions Club, which helped to build the original train, have since been working on an idea for a suitable replacement, and are now ready to hear what the community thinks of their plans.Maia and her drawing including the top view, side view and inside view (Photo supplied)Noah and his train "The Silly Express" (Photo supplied)Yanning and her train the "Eureka" (Photo supplied)
Tāhunanui Liaison Councillor Campbell Rollo welcomes the return of a new and improved train.
“I am thrilled that the Lions are committed to replacing the train. This is a hugely iconic playground that many generations of Nelson have a story to share with. This news continues that story.
“If I was going to submit a design, I would love to see a steering wheel so the kids can pretend to be the train driver, and a bit of colour, orange is my favourite.”
Councillor James Hodgson and Nelson Mayor Nick Smith visited Tāhunanui Primary to chat with the tamariki about what they want the train to look like.
Mayor Nick and Councillor Hodgson say there was a clear trend from the kids on what they wanted to see.
“If I had to wrap it up in a sentence, I'd say multiple carriages, interactive components, and colour, lots of colour,” Councillor Hodgson says.
“The kids put a lot of thought and creativity into the pictures, and many had very good explanations behind their pictures. There were some budding graphic designers and project managers in the group,” Mayor Nick says.
As for potential colour, Mayor Nick and Councillor Hodgson can’t agree. Councillor Hodgson likes blue and Mayor Nick is siding with Councillor Rollo and orange.
“It might need to be a train with multiple colours,” laughs Mayor Nick.
“I’m nostalgic about the train returning to the Tāhunanui Beach playground. I, like so many families, played on it when I was a child and with my own children and look forward to further generations having this experience.”
Installation of the new-look train is expected to take place in September. Prior to this, Council will be preparing the ground and installing a new concrete footing. The train's cost has been funded mainly by the Lions, but Council will contribute $3000.

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