Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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The Dream

The Museum’s owners, Colin and Esma Stevenson, never meant to start a museum at all. It began as Colin’s hobby—which just kept on growing. With Esma busy rearing three young children, . Subsequent machinery was collected over the next few years, and visitors kept arriving to see “the museum.”












As technology progressed, steam machinery in the workplace gradually became obsolete. During the 1960s, most of this country’s old industrial machinery was smashed up for scrap metal. Horrified at the scale of this, Colin took it upon himself to preserve examples of New Zealand’s industrial heritage for future generations. His dream was to demonstrate machinery that operated in the condition in which it was used, rather than romanticise the image with bright paint work.

The Tokomaru Steam Engine Museum officially opened to the public in 1970. Gathered together now is the biggest and most comprehensive collection of working steam engines in New Zealand. Visitors can see, in full working order, most types of stationery steam engines, small locomotives, steam rollers . A number of engines also await full restoration.

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