Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kingston Flyer update

A customer has asked in respect of our post of 17 November, what has since happened to this premier preservation railway in Southland?

As far as we know, none of the 7 tenders received in December met the $4.7 million that lender Prudential Finance wanted to clear the size of its mortgage - so nothing has happened and the operation is mothballed. This company even refused to allow the train to be used in a Bollywood movie that was scheduled for filming in January. Our understanding is that the railway assets are under a heritage order and can't be moved from where they are. Local government, central government or both, could step in, but the likelihood of the central government doing anything is slim, despite the tourist appeal, and ratepayers of the local councils in the area probably aren't keen either.

It therefore seems that until Prudential is willing to accept a write-off of some of the debt owed to it, wheels won't move.

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