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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 2 (May 1, 1939)

On the Main Trunk

On the Main Trunk.

Early in 1916, Mr. Johnston was transferred to Ohakune as fireman and acting-driver. He was attached to this depot of the Main Trunk line for more than ten years, working on engines of the “X” class, the heaviest in New Zealand, up to that time. To Taumarunui or Taihape he journeyed on mixed or goods trains, and for a number of years after the War was firing on the “First Express,” No. 221, now superseded by No. 227.

The heavy pull to Waiouru, New Zealand's highest station, was accomplished over grades that were steep and long. Then down and down on the continued slope to Taihape. It was driver Street and fireman Johnston who ran the first timetable train when the Raetihi branch line was officially opened by the Rt. Hon. W. F. Massey, P.C., then Prime Minister.