Brief History

The Whangaparaoa Railway is the fruition of Ted Pointon’s childhood dream. Ted was keen on trains from an early age, coming from a family of railway employee’s, his Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather all worked for New Zealand Railways. At age 13 Ted built his first 18 inch gauge loco mock up & carriage in his home back garden. He started with Railways as a cleaner in 1953 and by 1962 was a 1st class Engine driver.

At age 18 he purchased the Whangaparaoa property to build a 15 inch gauge railway on. Initially he purchased a ton of new rail and obtained additional rail by driving the little Steam Train which used to run around the Orewa foreshore, getting paid a rail an hour. By the early seventies the track was almost complete except for the large bridge and work on the Loco underframe was well under way.

Then progress stopped when Ted got involved with the Railway Enthusiasts Society’s, Glenbrook Vintage Railway project. Ted became the GVR’s key mechanical person leading the team restoring the WW, Mallet and JA1250. Eventually Ted was working full time for Ian Welch overhauling his locomotives. At this stage in the early nineties Ted finally had some hobby time to put back into the Whangaparaoa Railway. Work started on the foundations for the large bridge and a shed for the railways workshop.

Then in February 1992 Ted was taken seriously ill. All of Ted’s friends and relatives pooled together to bring his dream into fruition. The workshop & large bridge were completed, the tunnel finished off, a carriage built and earthworks done for the carpark. By late 1992 Ted had substantially recovered and in November, an open day was held using a borrowed loco.The motor jigger was upgraded into a railcar to match the carriage. Then on Boxing Day 26/12/1992 the railway was opened to the public on a regular basis, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays.

Little Toot was completed ready for service in February 1994, then a major rebuild in December 1997 when a larger boiler was fitted with 3 times the capacity of the original. It is now a interim Loco little bit No 1 Loco 1890 style and a little bit No 2 Loco 1930 style. The 2nd bogie carriage was completed in Feb 93 and the caboose in Jan 96. The Station was finished in Nov 93 and the shell for the roundhouse was put up in Oct 94.

The restaurant was originally opened as tea-rooms in Feb 95 and started to operate as a restaurant in March 1997. There is still plenty more to be done, track to roundhouse, 2nd Loco, spiral extension to a station above tunnel, etc.

Otahuhu