Halswell Domain miniature railway and pond - new lease

Canterbury Society of Model and Experimental Engineers are applying to increase the area of their existing lease for the use and promotion of model trains and boats in Halswell Domain.

Project status: Closed for feedback
Open for feedback: 16 December 2021 to 14 February 2022

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Consultation has now closed

Update May 2022

The Waipuna Halswell- Hornby-Riccarton Community Board decided to approve the staff recommendations with no changes on 3 May. Read the minutes of the meeting.(external link)

Approved plan

Update April 2022

The hearings panel report(external link) will be presented to the Waipuna Halswell- Hornby-Riccarton Community Board for approval on Tuesday 3 May.

Update March 2022

People were able to provide feedback between 16 December 2021 and 14 February 2022. During that time we heard from 261 individuals and organisations. 

You can read their feedback  [PDF, 104 KB]and a summary of consultation,  [PDF, 51 KB]also find out how this influenced the Community Board's decision. 

Halswell Domain miniature railway


This long-established volunteer organisation gives very popular and affordable miniature train rides to families and groups every fine Sunday afternoon at Halswell Domain.

The CSMEE (Canterbury Society of Model and Experimental Engineers ) has consulted with a number of Council Units to prepare the new lease application for a new section of railway and associated works. These, and other ongoing improvements to their lease area, are self-funded.

Changes include

  • Additional railway around the existing track and pond
  • Formalising arrangements for model boat events on the pond

Download a plan showing the key features of the proposal [PDF, 1.8 MB].

Key features of the proposal

Additional railway around the existing track and pond

The 720m long by 1.2m wide track extension is close to the existing track. The aim is to minimise the footprint and the potential impact on other park users.  Maintenance and testing can then happen on a separate track, at the same time as public excursions.

The proposal takes into consideration the need for path crossings and access to other parts of the domain, and these are shown on the consultation plan. At public crossing points the track is set into concrete (1.5 m wide x 1.9 m long).  

Another set of steps will cater for passengers at the station, and approximately 25m2 of extra space in the steaming bay area will allow room for a locomotive turntable.

The new track will require the removal of approximately 15m2 of existing vegetation including one mature tī kōuka (cabbage tree) near the toilet block. These plants will be replaced with an additional 35m2 of new landscaping that will enhance the area and help form a barrier between the track and path.

Formalising the arrangements for model boat events at the pond

The CSMEE would like to formalise their existing use of the pond when running an exclusive competition or event, during the following times:

  • Thursdays 10am to 2pm, Saturdays 1pm to 4pm and Sundays 12pm to 4pm.
  • The public will still be encouraged to use and enjoy this space outside these hours.
  • The CSMEE will be responsible for pond maintenance and a one metre buffer around the perimeter.

Other features

Other features of the CSMEE lease application that will be needed to complete the additional track include:

  • concrete pads for smooth public access across the tracks and ease of maintenance, at various locations
  • track signals for additional safety, at key public crossing points
  • a train bridge to replace the existing plank across the stream near the pond
  • soil removal and fill where needed for track alignment and gradient
  • work required for the track to cross existing swale and boxed drain

Next steps

  • Staff will consider all the submissions and prepare a report with recommendations to the hearings panel.
  • All submitters will be sent a link to the report including submissions and consultation summary.
  • The hearings panel will hear any submitters who have indicated they wish to be heard. If no submitters request to be heard, the staff report will go straight to the community board.
  • They will then will make a recommendation in a report  to the Waipuna  Halswell Hornby Riccarton Board  for a final decision on the new lease application.

Come and talk to us at Halswell Domain

CSMEE club rooms in the domain, between 4pm and 5.30pm on Wednesday 19 January 2022.

Staff will be on-site to answer questions about the proposal.

Our drop-in session will go ahead as normal under the Orange traffic light alert level, but anyone aged 12 and older will require a vaccine pass to attend in person. Please sign/scan in and wear a mask.

If you are unable to attend you can also phone or email to speak with us directly about the project. Contact Philippa Upton 03 941 8808, philippa.upton@ccc.govt.nz. 

Please make sure your comments reach us by Monday 14 February 2022.

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Who to contact

Philippa Upton ,
Engagement Advisor

How the decision is made

  • Closed for feedback

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