Rimutaka Incline Railway

Building a Sanctuary for Steam


route map
Wellington, New Zealand, location of Rimutaka Incline Railway
A start has been made on restoring ballast wagons

The Trust has a fleet of thirteen YC-class ballast wagons for future use on the Rimutaka Incline Railway.

Around 200 wagons of YC, YF and YH classes were withdrawn from service during 2007, replaced by a fleet of 40 modern YJ-class bogie hopper wagons. The Trust’s plans to construct and maintain the heritage railway will require a ballast wagon train. This was a rare and not-to-be repeated opportunity to acquire a fleet of suitable ballast wagons. The Trust is grateful to the many individuals and organisations that have sponsored a wagon or transport thereof, including New Zealand Community Trust, Pelorus Trust and Winstone Aggregates; and also to ONTRACK for the opportunity to...

Gumdigger carriage A255 at Christchurch on 27 January 1950, near the end of its revenue-earning service. Photo: JAT Terry.

Further major components required for our 1880s Gumdigger Carriage restoration project have been made available to the Rimutaka Incline Railway, and approximately ($4,000) is required to fund their transport from Dunedin to Upper Hutt.

In 2008 Wayne Haste donated a number of key components from carriage A189 along with an underframe – the start point for the project. The Trust stored these components for eventual use in a rebuilt Gumdigger carriage, pending completion of its storage and workshop facilities at Maymorn.

In late 2014 the Trust was offered one half of another Gumdigger carriage body - A255, which was located on a farm near Dunedin. This was a reasonably rare...

We've made a start on building our future mainline track at Maymorn. Track has reached the 150-metre mark and plans are afoot to extend it to the Kaitoke end of our Maymorn site.

Some of the team working on installing wall cladding on the rail vehicle shed pause for a photo on 3 October 2009.

The rail vehicle shed at Maymorn has been one of the primary projects for the Trust over the last few years. A huge amount of design work, engineering consultation, planning and project management has gone into the structure. The vast majority of the foundation work, component fabrication and final construction has been undertaken by volunteers working in their spare time. The decision to replicate an original 1911 New Zealand Railways 2-road engine shed design has paid dividends in that the Maymorn station has a real railway depot “feel” about it. The building will also complement future heritage railway operations.

Ohai Railway Board No.1

The Trust has been offered the opportunity to purchase 1947 built Ohai Railway Board No.1. ORB No. 1 is the forerunner to the NZR Ds class of locomotive which were first put into service as heavy shunters during 1949.

The Trust is currently undertaking a fundraising appeal to purchase and transport Ohai Railway Board No.1 from Pukemiro to Maymorn. This locomotive will provide the Trust with a level of redundancy when major work is required on Tr189 as well as forming a key role in future railway construction activities and shunting work at Maymorn. 

The locomotive is essentially complete although a number of components have been removed from the locomotive and overhauled....

Shunting locomotive Tr189 outside the shed at Maymorn

Our first complete locomotive -Tr189 - arrived at Maymorn on Friday 30th July 2010. The locomotive will be used for shunting and track construction work at Maymorn, and will play a key role in future reinstatement of the Rimutaka Incline Railway.

Tr189 was one of nine 20-tonne shunting locomotives built to this design at the New Zealand Railways Hillside Workshops in Dunedin during the 1970s. It was renumbered 937 in 1979, and was repainted with the 'fruit salad' livery midway through its working life. Working in the Manawatu for much of its life, it had been stored out of service in Wellington for over a year before being purchased by the Trust.

Ab 745 on a work train at Marton 11 December 1954. Photo: John Creber

Photo: Ab 745 on a work train at Marton 11 December 1954. Photo: John Creber.

The Trust has signed an agreement with The Taranaki Flyer Society for RIRHT to take over steam locomotive Ab 745, currently located at Stratford. The Taranaki Flyer Society is closing up and have offered the locomotive to us "free to a good home".

The opportunity to secure an ex-NZR steam locomotive of this size is rare and the locomotive will be a significant addition to our railway. Many of its former classmates worked the former route to Kaitoke and Summit. Ab 745 also has the potential to haul heavier trains on the railway, and to operate on the National Network should this be part of our...

The Maymorn station building is based off a design used at Waimate

An authentic heritage station building is planned to be built at Maymorn, replicating the Waimate station of 1907 designed by George Troup. It is a medium-sized design, being 108' (32.9m) long by 20' (6m) wide, having most of the features and ornamentation of stations designed by Troup. Marseilles tiled roof, half-timbered construction and decorative multi-post entrance porch set the building apart from other designs.

It is anticipated that the station building will be used:

  • as the starting and finishing point for visitor experience
  • as the booking and information centre
  • for customer services - franchises, e.g. café, souvenirs
  • as a...
Wb 299, Westport c 1955. Photo: John Creber

Wb 299 is one of two survivors of a class of twelve built in 1898 by Baldwin Locomotive Works, Philadelphia, U.S.A. The loco was based at Westport on the West Coast of the South Island, hauling coal trains from inland mines to the port. Two Wb class locomotives were originally based at Wellington, working trains to and from the Hutt Valley and Summit.

[Photo: Wb 299 at Westport loco depot, c 1955 - John Creber].

Wb 299 was withdrawn from service in 1957. In January 1960 the loco was dumped as river protection at Seddonville, north of Westport, a common fate for many steam locomotives in the South Island from the 1930's - 1960's. Wb 299, along with sister 292 were recovered...