Railway Observer Preview

The New Zealand Railway Observer : Issued Bi-monthly, ISSN 0028-8624
Issue 381 October-November 2023
Volume 80, No. 4


With heavy snow overnight and the Porter’s Pass road closed, train crew changeovers needed to be adjusted and trains were late. The Otira banker crew brought loaded coal Train 850 to Springfield for a Christchurch crew to take over. The banker locomotives from 850 had been cut off and were running forward to couple up to empty coal Train 849 to return to Otira for a Greymouth crew to take over. Glen Anthony photographed this interesting scene on 2 August 2023.

Hawkes Bay Floods – Eskdale Timestamps – Bill Prebble

Cyclone Gabrielle and the Rail System – Murray King

Abandoned Bush Tram Becomes a Cycle Trail – Paul Mahoney and Graeme Carter

Some of Mark Cole’s Classic NZR Photography

The End of Tickets on the Wellington Rail Network – Bruce Taylor

The Crunchie Train: A Monumental Rail Tour (Part 6) – Alan and Wendy Bailey

The Ongarue Memorial – Barry O’Donnell

Research Notes #231 – An Engine Called Dora – Graeme McClare

Celebrating the Midland Line – David Maciulaitis

From the Top of the Raurimu Spiral, Down at the Station, Letters to the Editor, Book and DVD Reviews

In this Issue are 34 colour photographs

Click Image for full size

The New Zealand Railway Observer

The Railway Observer is for everyone who takes an interest in the railways and tramways of
New Zealand. Read about their fascinating present developments and past history.

We publish it:-

  • Six times a year for members of the Society and the public.
  • For everyone who takes an interest in the railways and tramways in New Zealand.
  • It is packed with information and pictures.
  • Design · Construction · Operation · Development · History
  • Mailed direct to Society members as part of the annual subscription.
  • Copies may also be purchased from the Society or ordered through your favourite hobby shop or bookshop.

Membership of the Society brings you:

  • Six issues of The New Zealand Railway Observer each year
  • The Society’s members’ newsletter “Turntable”
  • Special members’ prices for all Society publications
  • Opportunities to insert free private announcements in The New Zealand Railway Observer and Turntable
  • Opportunities to join your nearest Society Group for meetings and outings with other railfans.
  • Access to the Society’s archives of information on railways.



We welcome, for possible publication, contributed articles and notes, including photographs. Articles should not normally exceed about 4000 words, and should be supplied electronically in PC format accompanied by a hard-copy version. We will consider a modest rate of payment for material published – enquire for details. Neither the Editor nor the Society can undertake to return unsolicited contributions.


Photographs should be supplied as clear, sharp, glossy black and white or colour prints not less than 10cm x 15cm in size; or, for full colour reproduction, clear, sharp colour slides or transparencies. Digital scans should be no less than 300 dpi, preferably sent on a memory stick. The Editor reserves the right to reproduce colour slides or transparencies in monochrome. Black and white and colour prints are retained by the Society, but colour slides and transparencies are returned after use.

For more information write to

New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society,
1A North Street, Petone
Lower Hutt, 5012, New Zealand.

Or send us an email at nzrls@actrix.co.nz