RM133 Railcar Trust

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Restoration work on RM121 is progressing well, but we need help. Your support will be greatly appreciated.

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  Manawatu / Whanganui

The RM 133 Railcar Trust Board was set up in 2000 to specifically save and restore the remains of ex NZR Drewry Twinset Articulated Railcar RM 133, the last known substantial survivor of a class of 35 Railcars to serve on most provincial and mainline routes throughout New Zealand between 1955 and 1978 and well remembered for replacing steam hauled expresses in the earlier period. This valuable survivor was located at Auckland International Airport and was used for staff evacuation training simulating an aircraft between 1985 and 2000 when it was offered for preservation.

After suffering unfortunate fire damage to its No 2 end, the remains were removed in February 2002 from Auckland Airport and transported to the location of the Pahiatua Railcar Society in Pahiatua. The Lotteries Grants Board generously assisted the trust with a substantial grant to make this happen.

Over the course of time the trust became aware of the substantial amount of Drewry Twinset Railcar components that included cab control equipment, light fittings, seats and under floor equipment that were removed from other members of the class that were being scrapped and thankfully saved by other preservation organisations and individuals. These have now been kindly donated and to date have been restored to a mainline serviceable condition and await fitting.

The biggest news for the trust was the knowledge that the two body halves of Drewry Twinset Railcar, RM 121, had also survived. One halfwas discovered in Waitomo and the whereabouts of other half was unknown, although rumours were circulating about a North Auckland location. Some meticulous detective work was carried out by one of the trusts' members and eventually it was located sitting in a quarry near Kerikeri and once inspected, was found to be in considerably better condition than RM 133.

After negotiations with the owner, this half of RM121, that was the same as the burnt out end of RM133, was purchased and transported south to Pahiatua. Initially it was planned to restore this in conjunction with the good end of RM133, but this was soon changed once negotiations with the Waitomo owner were commenced and it was found he was prepared to do a swap deal for two wooden carriages.

The Waitomo end has now been moved to Pahiatua and finally the two halves are back together. The goal of the trust is to now bring RM 121 up to a structural and mechanical condition to meet the requirements for future running on the national rail network.

More about us

The RM 133 Railcar Trust Board was set up in 2000 to specifically save and restore the remains of an ex NZR Drewry Twinset Articulated Railcar, This class originally, of 35 Railcars to serve on most provincial and mainline routes throughout New Zealand between 1955 and 1978 and well remembered for replacing steam hauled expresses in the earlier period.

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Latest update

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Winter 2019  12 October 2019

The winter months restrict what can be done in terms finishing and painting of the bodywork but good progress is still being made in other areas.

Our qualified welder Chris White has handed over welding duties to his workmate Kurt Sayer.

We extend a big thank you to Chris who has provided his services and done a huge amount of work from the very beginning of our project. Kurt made a start on site about 3 weeks ago when he welded into place the steps on both sides of the entrance vestibule behind the luggage compartment on the No.1 car. The steps are constructed from the same panel steel as the body construction and are integral with the walls. Getting everything fit and align correctly with the door jambs has been quite a task. He also started on welding into place the bulkhead wall, which Tristan has fabricated, immediately behind the driver's seat in the cab of the No.2 car. The skin to the rear wall of the No.2 car body has also been fixed in place and is awaiting this attention. A lot of smaller tasks have also been carried out including correcting the alignment of the sides and straightening fins of the No 1. car cowcatcher, removing various corroded studs for the exhaust and air intake connections on the No.2 car, removing the radiator support frame from the No. 1 car to allow installation of the steps mentioned above and getting folded profile cut panel steel parts manufactured for 2 electrical cabinets in the No.2 car cab and the roof mounted engine air intake for the No.1.car. On another front, after a lot of measuring it was found that the jaws of the Twinset's 3/4 size alliance couplers are not wide enough to receive the knuckle of the standard Kiwi Rail coupler.

Work has got underway on a proposed possible new transition link to allow the car to be connected to a standard alliance coupler.

On a more significant note Doug has made preliminary enquiries with A & G Price of Thames about refurbishment of the bogies and it was good to learn that they are interested in the work. In the meantime Mike has taken the cleaning of the bogies as far as he can at this stage. We are looking forward to some warmer weather so that we can proceed with more surface preparation and painting on the car bodies over summer

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Latest donations

  • Ray

    Ray on 14 Oct 2019



  • George

    George on 08 Sep 2019


    Keep up the good work, hope to have a ride on the railcar in future.


    • RM133 Railcar Trust

      Thanks George, much appreciated, we look forward to you travelling with us one day

  • Stan

    Stan on 03 Jul 2019



    • RM133 Railcar Trust

      Thanks Stan, We really appreciate your contribution

  • Guest Donor

    Guest Donor on 27 Jun 2019


    In memory of Dr R V Mirams - rail enthusiast


    • RM133 Railcar Trust

      Thank you, we appreciate your contribution

  • Guest Donor

    Guest Donor on 07 Jun 2019



    • RM133 Railcar Trust

      Thank you

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