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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 5 (November 2, 1931)

Giants in Mid-air

Giants in Mid-air.

But they also need attention, these great engines. When an engine has done 75,000 miles it is considered to have earned an overhaul, and that is when it goes to the workshops to be strung up in mid-air like a helpless giant. Since an express engine covers up to 50,000 miles a year, it is not long before it is taken off to be doctored. Her boiler, axle boxes and running gear in trim once more, she is ready for the road again. The cost of repairing an engine may run into £1500 or £2000. The average life of an engine is about thirty years, and when that time has passed the engine goes to the honoured graveyard of the stalwarts of the road. And then her driver steps into the glowing cabin of a new companion, whose flying wheels strike up for him anew the old, old song of the track.