Standard Railcars

These railcars entered service in 1938/1939. Two units (R.M.30 & R.M.31) operated a fast Wellington-New Plymouth return service. Three other units were based in Wairoa, operating initially between there and Napier and from 1943, to Gisborne. On Sundays only a Napier-Wellington return service operated which enabled the fourth unit retained in Wellington as a spare to be rotated in service and to facilitate service and overhauls.

Upon the introduction of the Drewry (Fiat) Twin-set railcars in mid 1950's, they operated for a time alongside these new cars on the Wellington-Napier-Gisborne (as well as to New Plymouth) before being concentrated onto the Wellington-New Plymouth route. They also ran some Wellington-Masteron-Palmerston North services after the Rimutaka Tunnel was opened in 1955. They were withdrawn from service in December 1972.

All six were also named after famous ancient Maori canoes...

Rm 30 "Aotea"

Rm 31 "Tokomaru"

Rm 32 "Pangatoru"

Rm 33 "Takitimu"

Rm 34 "Tainui"

Rm 35 "Tikitere"

4 have been preserved.

1 by Pahiatua Railcar Society Inc.(RM31)

2 by the Silverstream Railway (RM30 & RM34)

1 by the Waikato Branch NZRLS (RM32)

RM31 Now Certified

RM31 has now successfully completed its mechanical test run and has also done a second run as far as Masterton for crew training purposes. It is now fully certified to run on the National Railway Network and plans are being drawn up for a number of excursions in 2012.


RM31 at Masterton prior to moving to Pahiatua in June 2001

RM31 at Pahiatua on the day of its arrival in June 2001

RM31 leaving Woodville on the day of its first run in September 2011


Diesel-Mechanical Railcar


48 to 52



    Number in class



N.Z.R (Hutt Workshops)


3' 6"


A1 - 1A


67'-11" over buffers


8'-9" over body


29t.10cwt. ; adhesive weight 15t.7cwt.


(2) 6 cyl. Meadows; bore / stroke 5"


Diesel mechanical through gearbox


2 x 85 kW / 115 hp

    Max Speed




Pahiatua Railcar Society
P.O. Box 67
New Zealand


RM133 Railcar Trust Board
P.O. Box 67
New Zealand


Railway Videos

The Station

When New Zealand was colonised by English settlers in the 1840’s, railways were already well established in many parts of the world. The first railway in Wellington ran from Pipitea Point in 1874 and was planned by the central government to be part of a main trunk railway stretching from Wellington to Auckland.

Only $27.95

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A Living Dream

Follow the trials and tribulations as John Murphy and others seek to realise the goal of getting Standard Railcar RM31 back on New Zealand's railway network. Added are archive film clips of previously unseen footage of other railcars traveling around various locations throughout New Zealand along with many interviews. It also details the aims and progress of two other major railcar restoration projects currently underway by members of the Pahiatua Railcar Society.

Only $29.95

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