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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 6 (September 2, 1935)

Developing an Idea

Developing an Idea.

Early in 1934 great interest was created by an unusual type of vehicle on the railway-lines at Wellington. This was a sedan-type rail-motor with flanged steel wheels, built to meet the requirements of the General Manager of Railways, Mr. G. H. Mackley, as an inspection car by means of which the administrative staff might carry out the work of railway inspection all over the Dominion with greater economy and efficiency than was possible previously.

The inspection car was also intended for use in major emergencies affecting the operation of the line to enable executive officers to reach the place affected with the utmost expedition at any hour of the day or night.

After completing 7,000 miles with the car over all the principal lines of the Dominion, Mr. Mackley found that the car, besides creating the keenest interest wherever it went, had more than met all expectations as an operating unit. It was proved to be capable of high speeds with complete safety, and gave a maximum of comfort to passengers, with comparatively low petrol consumption.

Amongst its major achievements was the demonstration that it could operate over the Rimutaka Incline without the use of “Fell” engines or centre rail at a speed which greatly minimized the disadvantages of that difficult stretch of country.