Masterton's miniature train that's still running on time after 40 years needs volunteers

Masterton can boast many things, among them one of the nation's finest parks - Queen Elizabeth Park is in the middle of town and in the centre of that oasis is a miniature train that's brought joy to thousands of people.

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The train has been maintained by one man and his team for more than four decades. Source: Seven Sharp

It's a train which has been run and maintained by Gary Esler and his team of volunteers for 42 years.

Esler recently received a community award for being the driving force behind the town's tiny train.

The historic railway nearly shut down before Esler stepped in to take over in 1980.

It's a hit with both locals and visitors, costing just $1 to ride — the same price it's been since 1984.

Esler works as a regular driver and ticket seller, as well as maintaining the tiny train, but now he needs some more help.

At least four more volunteers are required to help keep the train on track.

Esler appeared on Seven Sharp last night to launch a plea for help.

“Masterton, if you're sitting at home and you're feeling lonely and you want something to do how about coming down and giving us a hand.

“We need you for five hours once a month to come and help, either sell tickets or drive the train, don't sit at home being lonely, we need you,” he said.

Seven Sharp’s Julian Lee tried his hand at being a train driver in the video above.