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On its way home from Fairlie to Timaru on March 3, 1968, Ab718 pulls the final ex cursion train of 16 pas senger carriages and a guards van into Cave. PHOTO: WILSON LYTHGOW

Plans to mark the final journey of the Fairlie Flyer are gaining steam. The Pleasant Point Museum and Railway is planning a special steaming day in September during which locomotive Ab699 will be on rails again after being out of service for about four years.

As this year marks the 50th anniversary of the final special excursion train from Timaru to Fairlie and back, and the closure of the Fairlie branch line, the organisation is planning for the first time, night running of Ab699, D16 and the Ford Model T Railcar for the occasion.

Society president Bryan Blanchard said Ab699 would be “dressed up” as Ab718 _ the first locomotive on the final excursion train on March 2, 1968, cut up for scrap many years ago _ and would be piped in and out of the Pleasant Point Railway Station by the Mackenzie Highland Pipe Band.