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Don McAra recently held a successful Exhibition of
paintings and launched his book “Hold VeryTight
Please” which is about New Zealand’s Cable Trams, in
the Art Station Gallery, Dunedin. This Website has
been created to promote his series of paintings
(some of which are still for sale) and his book. It
also promotes the reintroduction of a Cable Tram in
Cable lines up either High or Rattray Streets could
run to points of vantage from which tourists and
others could obtain great views of Dunedin, the
Otago peninsula, and harbour. At such places cafes
or restaurants would cater for passengers. Moreover,
carparks established at the hill terminus of each
line would enable local residents to avoid parking
difficulties in the central city. The cable car fare
would be extendable to city bus services, or to a
possible electric tram service along Princes and
George Streets. As the price of petrol rises such a
service would gain in attractiveness. The cable
lines would be driven by modern electric motors the
first one being installed at Mornington.
The establishment of such systems as these would
have Dunedin well prepared for the peak oil
situation which is appearing more and more
inevitable as time goes on. Not only that, but
Dunedin would become the only other city outside of
San Francisco to have street cable cars as a leading
attraction for tourists and locals alike.
At the present time of writing (October 2007) one
heritage Dunedin grip cable car has been restored by
the Tramway Historical Society based at Ferrymead in
Christchurch, a cable car trailer is well under way,
and another grip car is due for restoration.
Restoration work is being done to running order.
The THS restoration committee members believe that
the best place for the restored cars to operate
would be obviously on their old home territory in
Management Committee have agreed in principleto the
possible leasing out of its restored cable cars to
Dunedin’s High St Cable Car Group, or to any
properly accredited Cable Car Company derived from
that Group, at such time that it is able to operate
a fully restored line in Dunedin. Terms and details
of such an arrangement would have to be fully
spelled out, but in the meantime a statement of
support has been sent by the Secretary of the T.H.S.
to the Dunedin High St Cable Car Action Committee
headed by Mr Tony Chance.
A model of such an organisation would be the Taieri
Gorge Railway who have a proven record in
successfully operating tourist rail services.
Coordination of tourist trains picking up sight
seeing passengers from tourist ships and bringing
them to Dunedin where the visitors could explore
part of the city on its cable cars, unique in the
Southern Hemisphere, would seem to be an idea well
In the meantime, what is needed is a
Support Network of like minded individuals to
continue promoting this cause to the Dunedin City
Council, potential financial benefactors, donors,
and entrepreneurs. You can register your support at
Dyers Pass Road, Cashmere, Christchurch, New Zealand,
or contact Don McAra at