Friday, April 30, 2010

Golden era of the Fiat railcars in New Zealand

Today's photo is of a Fiat railcar making its way north of Waikanae, a scene from the golden era when it was possible to travel to virtually every provincial centre on one of these - Whangarei, Tauraunga, Rotorua, Napier, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Masterton, Picton, Hokitika, Invercargill. The exceptions were Westport and Alexandra where tight track curvatures made them unsuitable, requiring the Vulcan type instead.

Railcar services (except for the North Island Main Trunk Silver Ferns) were completely scrapped during the first term of the Muldoon Government (1976-1978) making people use buses instead. The present National government is living up to Muldoon's performance, closing down railway lines completely and making motorists and buses compete with super heavy trucks on the roads.


Bob said...

The chief executive of the Road Transport Forum, which represents trucking companies and lobbies for road transport in New Zealand is Tony Friedlander, who was a cabinet minister in that Muldoon Government. What a surprise.

transpressnz said...

when Friedlander retires from that position Joyce is the obvious successor

Don said...

The Fiat railcars were a problem right from the start. I commuted from Greymouth to Hokitika from 1956 and mechanical problems were common eg sometimeso only one motor was working. The older Vulcans were more reliable, comfortable and faster.