Our History and Future

Our History...


The Waiuku Branch Railway officially opened between Paerata and Waiuku.
New Zealand Railways withdraw passenger services on the Waiuku Branch Railway.
The Waiuku Branch Railway is closed between Glenbrook and Waiuku.
The Glenbrook Vintage Railway Charitable Trust Board is formed.
Restoration of GVR's inaugural fleet of steam locomotives and carriages begins.
Reclaiming the railway corridor from nature begins.
Creation of the Glenbrook Station heritage precinct begins.
The Glenbrook Vintage Railway is officially opened for the 4.5km of track between Glenbrook and Pukeoware.
GVR restored steam locomotive JA1250 (along with KA945) haul the first steam train on the national network since steam trains were banned by NZR.
A track extension of 1.5km is opened by the then Prime Minister Rt. Hon. David Lange between Pukeoware and Fernleigh.
A track extension of 2km to Tamakae Reserve - the heart of Waiuku is announced.
The inaugural Thomas the Tank Engine weekend is held at Glenbrook.
Earthworks begin on the first stage of the track extension towards Waiuku.
The Pukeoware Rail Depot North Yard is fully commissioned including a two track carriage workshop, undercover storage for 15 carriages and 7 new sidings.
GVR celebrates its Silver Jubilee with a Festival of Steam featuring many visiting steam powered and other heritage vehicles.
GVR celebrates carriage of its one millionth passenger.
A track extension of 1.5km between Fernleigh and Victoria Ave (walking distance from and on the doorstep of Waiuku) is opened.
GVR appoints a part-time employee to assist in steam locomotive restoration.
NZTA grants GVR a license to operate trains on the national rail network after a significant refresh of key safety documentation and systems.
GVR purchases two DBR class diesel-electric locomotives from KiwiRail.

GVR appoints the first full-time employed General Manager.
GVR invests in three ex-KiwiRail carriages for planned tour trains on the national rail network.
GVR employs an experienced rollingstock maintenance fitter to aid in repair and maintenance of the 20 carriages and 5 locomotives in service.
GVR completes restoration of steam locomotive WW 480, including a brand new boiler, built by RCR of Dannevirke.


GVR wins the 2019 NZTA Tourist and Heritage Rail Safety Award.
GVR outshops a refurbished DBR class diesel-electric locomotive fitted with an industry-leading fire suppression system designed in-house by staff and volunteers.
GVR appoints a full-time employee to manage health, safety, and continuous improvement.
GVR trains two KiwiRail Locomotive Engineers to drive steam locomotives on the national rail network.

GVR begins work on restoring DC 4818 and continues restoration work on steam locomotive WW 644, power van AG 49, carriages A1897 and A1918 and exploratory work on restoring steam locomotive JA 1250.

Our Future...

Preserving and sharing heritage

Many of our steam locomotives are now approaching the point where they have spent longer in our ownership than their working life with the New Zealand Railways. Our first steam locomotive (built in 1910) was recently fitted with a brand new boiler designed and fabricated in New Zealand using modern standards and techniques, and this brand new boiler is expected to last for 60 years. This is the dedication of our team and railway to preserve and share heritage for many decades to come.

Growing New Zealand rail tourism

There is a global renaissance of traveling by rail. Whether it is to enjoy things at a slower pace, to see different sights, or to lower the environmental impact of travel, people are interested in rail tourism. Over the past three years, the Glenbrook Vintage Railway has grown its capability to operate tour trains on the national rail network and can now provide a locomotive, carriages and all of the onboard staff. With the coming drive to buy local and see local, we think there is no better time to offer tour trains on the national rail network. The operation of these tour trains is key to supporting the sustainable operation of the Glenbrook Vintage Railway as well as extending the community benefits of our operations.

Planned track extension to Waiuku Waterfront

A long term project has been to extend the Glenbrook Vintage Railway track from its current temporary terminus at Victoria Avenue (on the outskirts of Waiuku) a further 450 metres to its ultimate Waiuku Terminus on the Tamakae Reserve (at the southern tip of the Manukau Harbour). This will have the major advantages of bringing passengers right to the centre of historic Waiuku township and the designated "Heritage Area", providing easy access for passengers of all ages and fitness to patronise Waiuku businesses, cafes and other attractions.

Interaction with maritime activities such as charter boats and historic vessels, and combined train and boat excursions will become possible. It is intended too to originate our rail tour trains to other parts of the country from Waiuku.
This extension is critical to realising the whole potential of the Glenbrook Vintage Railway to contribute to the Waiuku economy.