Locomotive 271 pulls away on its trip in the Victoria Esplanade gardens, Palmerston North, with members of the official party at the 1 November, 1969, opening of the miniature railway. At the controls is Mr M K Bury, the President of the Miniature Railway Society. Originally it was a half mile track running through native bush. Today (2014) a new extension loop takes the railway on a 20 minute ride to the children's playground and back on a track that is 2.2 km long. The Esplanade Scenic Railway Society owns and operates the miniature railway, one of the largest of its type in New Zealand, with a fleet of three locomotives, ten passenger cars and four specialised carriages for maintenance work. The Society's volunteer crews take turns to act as Guard, staff the ticket office, and drive the trains, and on busy days staff two trains and two stations.