Steam Locomotive Wab 794 Update

The Society’s steam locomotive Wab 794 was leased to Feilding & Districts Steam Rail Society 25 years ago for restoration and operation on the main line. FDSRS has comfortably achieved that target and has run the locomotive for many of the intervening years. They are now nearing the end of a major overhaul and re-certification of Wab 794 for another ten years of operation under their management.

FDSRS asked us to renew the lease of the locomotive for a further 25 years in 2018 as its most recent overhaul came due. This was agreed to by our Board at the time. In December last year a new lease was signed for the locomotive covering the period to January 2047, a further 25 years.

We look forward to seeing Wab 794 back on the rails soon …..


Photo: Rob Merrifield.


Wab 794 at Km 32.3 (Matarawa Valley) Marton-New Plymouth Line,

18 October, 2010. The train is a Steam Incorporated trip to Whanganui





 Feilding Steam Rail is making steady progress on the overhaul of our Society’s leased locomotive Wab 794.

Ivan McCutcheon, who is leading the Wab engineering work, has advised this month that recent work done on the engine has been to:

  • Check main drive cylinders, pistons and renew piston rings;.
  • Realign crosshead guide bars and slippers and renew white metal;.
  • Renew one side crosshead guide bar;
  • Renew four boiler stays and repair various cracks in the boiler shell;.
  • Cut out cracked metal and replace, welding in a section of the boiler at the supply point for the brake pump;
  • Repair air pump mounting;.
  • Renew dry pipe and ends, getting, repair work certified, tested and re-fit;
  • Weld repairs of cracks in axle box;
  • All boiler tubes are being replaced and the ends expanded, almost ready for testing;
  • The two side tanks for water are to be transported to Dannevirke for sandblasting inside and application of a special coating preserve the interior surfaces; and
  • Once returned, the outer surfaces of the water tanks will be repainted.

Once boiler work is complete and certified, the axle bearings and wheels installation can begin.



Work on the overhaul of Wab 794 at the end of 2021. This photo was taken inside the workshop of Feilding Steam Rail by Harlan Summers.






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