Our Collection

Here are a few of our larger items in the Collection and the histories of them located at the Museum,
We will have even more for you to explore once we have opened our facility!

DM216 & D2687 – “The Phoenix”

The Phoenix saw service in the Wellington region from 1949 to 2013. Upon decommissioning it was donated to us, and awaits refurbishment.

Photo – D Maciulaitis

EO45 – Electric Locomotive

The New Zealand EA class (EO from 1968) of electric locomotives were used on the New Zealand rail network between 1968 and 1997 on the Otira – Arthur’s Pass section of the Midland line in the South Island, through the Otira Tunnel. Following reconditioning, three were used by KiwiRail’s Tranz Metro in Wellington from 2008 to 2011 to top and tail Metlink suburban passenger trains as an interim measure before new rolling stock arrived. Four of the five locomotives were scrapped in 2013 with one being set aside for preservation at the National Railway Museum. (Source: Wikipedia)

Photo – D Maciulaitis

F11 Van

F11 came into service with NZR as a guard’s van in 1886, and converted to a ballast plough van in 1937. In 1941 it was acquired by the Ohai Railway Board who used it on their private coal railway in Southland.  When the Ohai Railway Board was dissolved in 1990,  the railway became part of the national network operated by the New Zealand Railways Corporation.   The plough van was initially preserved along with other historic rolling stock by the Ohai Railway Board Heritage Trust at Wairio.   With the dissolution of that trust, the preserved items have been distributed to other groups with the National Railway Museum of New Zealand taking stewardship of F 11.

It is presently owned by Southland District Council and is on long-term loan to the Museum. 

Photo – D Maciulaitis

La13817 – Wagon

La13817 was built in 1922. On de-commissioning it was purchased by Mr Reid McNaught who kindly donated it to us in 2014. (Source: Rolling Stock Register)

Photo – D Maciulaitis

RM6 – Edison Railcar Bogie

The railcar was initially built in 1926 to operate services through the lengthy Lyttelton rail tunnel on the Lyttelton Line. While performing well on the service, the railcar lacked seating capacity, especially for peak-hour services. The Lyttelton Tunnel was electrified in 1929 and the railcar was instead assigned to the Little River Branch, commencing services in early 1927. Previously, the Little River Branch’s passenger services had been provided by mixed trains, and the Edison battery-electric railcar was introduced as a faster and more desirable alternative. It ran between Little River and Christchurch twice each way each day, completing the journey in 69 minutes.

The railcar was popular with both passengers and crews; it was fast for its time for a rural train on New Zealand’s railway network and ran cleanly and efficiently. It lasted a mere eight years, as it was destroyed in a depot fire in Christchurch on 25 May 1934. Conditions created by the Great Depression meant it simply was not possible to build a replacement, and the Edison battery-electric railcar’s legacy was left as that of a promising and unique experiment that may have achieved its full potential in more prosperous times. The railcar’s remains were not scrapped until the end of 1942. The bogies of the car were dumped on the Oamaru foreshore with other old locomotive remains to prevent erosion of the Oamaru railway yards. In 2009, the bogies of RM 6 and the locomotive remnants were removed from the foreshore. The locomotive remnants were placed in the care of the Oamaru Steam and Rail Restoration Society while the bogies were donated to the National Railway Museum of New Zealand. (Source: Wikipedia)

Photo – D Maciulaitis

T813/T199 – Cattle Wagon

T199 was built at Addington Workshops in 1966. Upon decommissioning it was given to Rail Heritage Trust who donated it to us. (Source: Rolling Stock Register)

Photo – D Maciulaitis

TR190 (TMS TR943) – Hillside Diesel Locomotive

Tr 190 was built at Hillside Railway Workshops as builders’ number 457 in Dunedin in December 1977 and was the final locomotive built at a New Zealand railway workshops to be put into service. The nine locomotives were built as a class by apprentices so each of the 9 was subtly different. Many of the components were off the shelf in the stores. Back in October 2013 she arrived at Ferrymead for the NRM before heading off for an extended period under restoration at Mainline Steam’s Chch depot. She returned to the Museum for finishing and display in Jan 2021.

The locomotive is owned by Rail Heritage Trust who have kindly provided the funds to restore the locomotive to display condition.

Photo – J Blunsdon

YD1044 (TMS YD490) – Side Tipping Ballast Wagon

Yd 1044 is one of seventy side tipping ballast wagons that was assembled at Otahuhu Railway Workshops from parts imported from the United States.  It entered railways service in 1958. The wagon was renumbered in 1978 as Yd 490 with the introduction of the Traffic Monitoring System (TMS).  Upon decommissioning in 2015 the Museum purchased it from KiwiRail with the help of a very generous grant from Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority. The wagon is on long-term lease to Canterbury Railway Society for use on their railway.

Photo – D Maciulaitis


The DC Class is a vital member of any railway collection, being probably the most numerous class in Railways service in recent times and serving throughout the country.

DC4876 started life as DA class DA1516, built by General Motors Canada in 1967. Because of a backlog of locomotives requiring heavy maintenance, Clyde Engineering were awarded a contract to rebuild 35 DA class as EMD model G22ARs, with upgraded engines, new cabs and low short hoods. Da1516 was rebuilt to DC4876 in 1967, and remained in Railways service until 2017 when it was stored. KiwiRail made it available to the Museum in 2019. It is currently in storage at the Dunedin Railways depot. (Source: Rolling Stock Register, Wikipedia)

Photo – D Maciulaitis