The Weka Pass Railway, with almost 13 kilometers of track running through scenic North Canterbury is an ideal location for a wide range of film and television work.
Historic steam locomotive A428 and classic DG class diesel engines are available on site along with a range of rolling stock allowing the creation of period passenger and goods trains. With a connection to the Main North line, other locomotives and rolling stock can be sourced from railway societies.
Along with the beautiful North Canterbury scenery, there are a number of historic buildings that can be used for filming – including the stations at Glenmark (Waipara) and Waikari, the latter including a turntable. There is also a depot located in the old Waipara railyard where an engine shed, carriage repair depot and hall are located along with various storage sidings.
The Weka Pass Railway has a wide range of vehicles can be utilized, or if necessary with a rail network connection other vehicles can be brought in on request.
The Weka Pass Railway also offers a wide range of backgrounds and scenery for different scenes. In summer with dry grass and tussock the scenery could be Africa, Mexico, or Arizona. Russia in the winter, or rural England when green.
With Steam Locomotives and old diesels any era from the 1800s through to the 60s and 70s can be recreated.
The first use of the Weka Pass Railway for television was in 1984 when the elegant steam locomotive K88, from The Plains Vintage Railway in Tinwald, was used for the filming of Hanlon: In Defense of Minnie Dean TV mini-series.
The railway can be used for film and period dramas as well as for travel programs.
For some video examples of filming done on the Weka Pass Railway, please click here.
For some photographic examples of filming done