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  • A Train For Christmas

    New Zealand national film unit made this 25 minute film back in 1974 about the Kingston Flyer. What I think is unique about this film, is that its not just about a train, but the community that it once served, from delivering groceries to the newspapers. Its a film that really does show a slower way of NZ life that sadly has all but gone. The film I think, can also be viewed on you-tube. I never get tired watching this 16mm print that I ran once again tonight, here are a couple of screen shots. I should add that Derann did release "A Train For Christmas" but only as a edited 200 footer Super 8 version, however is saying that its very good as well.
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  • #2
    Hi Graham!

    I guess it's no surprise you find me here when the subject is A Train for Christmas!

    This is simply a great film. The viewer doesn't even need to be a railfan to enjoy it. I consider the Derann cut-down to be perhaps the greatest railway film I've ever seen, in terms of getting up close and personal with an operating steam locomotive. The bigger the screen it's on and the bigger the audio system, the better the show. The full version does it even better by including a lot of the human interest parts of the story that Derann took out. There are a couple of cases where Derann made what started out as a potential 400 or 600 footer into a 200 footer where I would have been quite happy to lay out some more money and (literally) get the whole story. This one is a prime example of this. (In all fairness, I felt completely happy with the 200 footer until I knew this!)

    A Train for Christmas
    (YouTube Link)
    Last edited by Steve Klare; May 09, 2022, 10:10 AM.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the you-tube link Steve, I myself would also have been more than happy if Derann had made it a 400 footer, similar length to "The Ride Of The 480" I would have definitely would have bought a copy.

      I am not sure the latest news on the future of the Kingston Flyer, the last time we were down that way was 2010 I think, anyway a few more stills from last night screening.
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      • #4
        This is how things looked during our visit back in 2010, at the time we were there everything was up for sale...hopefully things have improved a lot since then. I always thought that with everything sitting around being exposed to the elements was bad news for its future. Like so many things it comes down to money for up keep etc
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        • #5
          Definitely not good for rolling stock to be left out in all weathers. Most Heritage Railways in the UK discovered this and have been building carriage and loco covered accommodation as fast as they can as the stock gets older and more expensive to keep going.

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          • #6
            Yes, nothing good can come from historic railroad equipment standing out and unsecure. There's this phenomena where for some reason in modern society any piece of rail equipment is seen as a canvas for (generally) young..."artists". A large collection of 2-Ft. narrow gauge equipment (very little of it much less than 100 years old) was brought up to Portland, Maine after having been in a collection in Masachusetts for about 70 years. The cream of the crop went inside a museum hall, but everything else stood outside on sidings. It didn't take very long for some real historic pieces to get tagged. Of course after that windows started to get broken on the coaches. A hundred year old locomotive standing in a shed was burned in an arson fire (-took about 10 years to fix, too.)

            -then again they built an operating museum directly next to a harbor on the Maine Coast, where hurricanes are no strangers.

            -what ever could go wrong?

            Even standing still, these old trains take a lot of care to remain in one piece: even without fire or storms or vandalism, nature will just slowly dissolve them. There are more than a few of these ancient wooden cars where most of the iron-work is original but the wood has been replaced three and four times over.

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