They have taken a lease on a chunk of the old Putaruru - Rotorua railway line, the 20km bit between Mamaku and Turekenga, and developed a world-first hybrid petrol / electric rail-car to ride the rails.
The 4-seater cars are fully automated - you just sit back and enjoy the view as you rumble along at 20kmh.
In so doing you ride the North Island's steepest gradient at 3.5:1 through the rain forest in the Dansey Scenic Reserve and enjoy 360 degree views over rolling hills and Lake Rotorua.
It carries with it the heritage of past generations who built and lived their lives on the commerce of the rail: tourist operators; loggers; haulers; millers and foresters of all sorts. The railway was the heart of a forestry industry that thrived in Mamaku for many years around the 1940's. It is this heritage and stunning scenery in addition to its reach into the local tourist centre of Rotorua that made the Rotorua Railway the perfect place to offer a new and entirely unique rail experience.
You'll find Mamaku Express at the Mamaku Railway Station on the top of the Mamaku Ranges just off State Highway 5 between Tirau and Rotorua.
You can read more about Rotorua's attractions Rotorua page of my New Zealand Travel Guide