Whilst in Gisborne some of us went on a 2 hour rail trip with the Gisborne City Vintage Rail Inc. The fully restored and only remaining WA165 steam locomotive hauled four carriages of eager passengers out to Muriwai, not far from Young Nick’s Head. For most of us it was a trip back in time, and a chance to revisit the time when the comfortable and beautifully red leather upholstered seats were a daily way of life – especially if, like us you lived in the Hutt Valley and worked in Wellington city.
At our destination, we were offered light refreshments and a chance to buy souvenirs. But here’s where I think they got it wrong. In an effort to show patrons the dining car, the café and shop was in a small corner of that carriage. So there was an endless queue, a long waiting time, and no chance to leisurely view the souvenirs.
In my opinion, it would be far better to offer the refreshments and display the souvenirs on the platform, and offer patrons the chance to leisurely view the dining carriage. That way, service would have been quicker, people would have been able to browse (and buy) the souvenirs at their leisure.
Definitely opportunities lost – and they do need the extra money for ongoing maintenance.