Flag of New Zealand Flag of the Cook Islands

Railways in the

Cook Islands

Christmas Island train
Locomotive working on the Rarotonga Steam Railway in the early 2000s

The Cook Islands had no railways until the 1990s when an individual living on the island of Rarotonga acquired a steam locomotive from Poland. It was a class Px48 0-8-0 tender locomotive of 750mm gauge, Polish Railways number 1741.

The new owner installed about 170m of track on private property, and for several years into the early 2000s offered rides on the locomotive.

The promoters of a resort park on the island proposed a 1km railway in the park where the train could run, but the planned resort did not come to fruition. The locomotive’s owner had acquired further rolling stock and equipment, including a small diesel shunter, but changed personal circumstances and relocation to a new site meant that operation was no longer practical. The locomotives and other equipment are stored awaiting possible future use.

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Photo image by Roger Smith