Silver Stream Railway, Inc.
In 1967 the Wellington branch of the New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society began a collection of locomotives and rolling stock. Tracklaying, on the old formation of the Hutt Valley Line, did not begin until 1977; the tracks had come from a Ministry of Works siding in Trentham in February 1976. The collection of locomotives and rolling stock had previously been stored at a site by the Gracefield branch in Seaview, and it was transferred to the present Silverstream site in 1984.
The museum station was named after Charles McKirdy, the contractor who built the section of railway on the formation of which the Silver Stream Railway now operates. McKirdy undertook - concurrently - four of the six contracts for railway construction between Lower Hutt and Featherston.
The official opening of the full 1.5-kilometre (0.93 mi) track took place on 15 February 1986.
The museum currently (2015) lists 17 different locomotives or railcars in 'Wikipedia', and also has a range of rolling stock.
For special weekends, engines are sometimes decorated as 'Thomas the Tank Engine', from a series of children's books.
The August 1, 1989 'Leader' printed an article in which the Railway was hosting a meeting to convene a steering committee to seek funds and council approval for a 'colonial village' at the eastern end of their track, near Kiln Street; a map was printed. Silver Stream did not have the time to run such a project. A Historic Village Society was formed, and hoped to build the 'historic village', and acquired the former Jina's greengrocery from Geange Street, and the former Silverstream fire station before finally dissolving. The New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society has a workshop there, and has been restoring American carriages made for the Wellington and Manawatu Railway.
From 1995 they ran 'Thomas the Tank Engine' weekends in March and November; but in January 2005 they announced they would be cancelling the March events. They had taken $20 000 in 1996, but only $5600 in 2004.
The 'experience' supplement in the April 20, 2005 'Leader' announced that a new carriage-restoration shed was about to be constructed opposite the McKirdy depot; it would use a Totalspan kitset and cost $85 000; $35 000 had been received as grants.
In 1980, Waiora Cottage from Brown Owl was acquired; it would be moved by Rotary and refurbished as offices for the site.
When a historic village in Silverstream was proposed, various buildings were collected. The project collapsed, but some buildings moved to Silver Stream; the former Silverstream fire station (later moved from Chatsworth Road to Fergusson Drive as Heretaunga-Pinehaven District Community Council offices).
Silver Stream Railway; newly-arrived steam crane. Society member Syd Bisdee, President Brian Pearce.
Silver Stream Railway; approval given for historic village; enthusiasts, dressed appropriately in period costume.
Silver Stream Railway; fence built by Upper Hutt Employment Trust; manager Trevor O'Brien and supervising carpenter.
Silver Stream Railway; Bryan Bishop, Howard Phillips retubing L-219, the Society's third-oldest locomotive.
The railway is open for train rides on the first and third Sundays of each month and selected public holidays, 11am to 4pm.