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Steam Incorporated, often abbreviated to Steam Inc., is a railway heritage and preservation society based at the Paekakariki Railway Station, Paekakariki at the southern end of the Kapiti Coast, approximately 50 minutes north of Wellington on the west coast of New Zealand's North Island. Unlike some societies who operate on preserved sections of closed branch lines (e.g. the Kingston Flyer on the Kingston Branch or the Pleasant Point Museum and Railway on the Fairlie Branch), Steam Incorporated own a depot ("The Engine Shed") beside one of the country's most important railway lines, the North Island Main Trunk Railway, and restores heritage locomotives and rolling stock for use on excursions on the regular national rail network.
History of the depot
Paekakariki's close association with the railway began in 1886 when the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company's line from Wellington to Longburn opened. Paekakariki Railway Station was a large station despite the settlement's small size, as it was ideally located as a locomotive changeover point - powerful engines were required to tackle the difficult grades between Wellington and Paekakariki, while lighter and more nimble ones were better suited to the gentle grades and straight track through the Kapiti Coast and Horowhenua to Manawatu. The New Zealand Railways Department (NZR) took over the Wellington and Manawatu Railway in December 1908, but Paekakariki's status as an important depot remained unchanged. In 1940, the line from Wellington to Paekakariki was electrified and Paekakariki's depot was altered: it became the changeover point from electric to steam motive power, or electric to diesel from the 1950s onwards. Paekakariki also was an important goods transfer point between the Railways and its "Rail Air" service that operated out of Paraparaumu across Cook Strait, before the Rail ferries. A large goods shed was constructed at Paekakariki by U.S. Marines stationed in the area for use with the Rail Air service during World War II. In the late 1960s with steam power coming to an end, the locomotive depot in Paekakariki was closed and the diesel locomotives which replaced steam were based out of Wellington instead. The main engine shed was demolished along with a number of other buildings, but the Rail Air Shed, two signal boxes, amenities building and a turntable remained when Steam Incorporated acquired the site. New sheds were constructed to replace those demolished, and the Rail Air Shed & amenities buildings were acquired when it became available. While initially leasing a portion of the site, Steam Incorporated now owns the whole former depot site including the 70ft turntable however the railways retain a right of access to the turntable.
As steam started to disappear from the NZR network, a group of enthusiasts united to preserve steam locomotives with the express intention of running them on the NZR main line network. At the time, all locomotives that had been preserved were solely for use on heritage railways or for static display, and as the NZR sold locomotives on the proviso that they would never again run on the NZR network, it was a radical concept. However Steam Incorporated was formed and locomotives were purchased by the society or for the society by members.
List of Locomotives
|Key:||In Service||In Service, Main Line Certified||Under Overhaul/Restoration||Stored||Static Display||Scrapped|
|Number||Builder||Builder's Number||Year Built||Arrived at Steam Inc||Notes|
|AB 608||NZR Addington Workshops||163||1915||1993||First AB built. Owned by the NZR&LS, previously statically displayed at Ferrymead. Leased to Steam Incorporated, 1993. Main line certified.|
|DA 1410||General Motors||A800||1955||1988||Transferred back to Paekakariki from the Glenbrook Vintage Railway in June 2015. Awaiting an overhaul.|
|DA 1431||General Motors||57-135||1957||1988||Painted in unique livery for NZ Sesquicentennial, 1990. Main line certified.|
|DA 1471||General Motors||A2017||1963||2012||Formerly part of the NZ Rail Heritage Collection. Leased to Steam Inc in 2004 but returned in 2007; brought outright in 2012 after storage at Hutt Workshops. Currently under restoration.|
|DS 202||Drewry||2526||1955||1985||Used as the Paekakariki yard shunter.|
|J 1234||North British Locomotive Co.||24557||1939||1974||Restored for main line use 1992. Formerly leased to the Glenbrook Vintage Railway. Transferred back to Steam Inc in June 2015. Awaiting an overhaul.|
|JA 1271||NZR Hillside Workshops||394||1956||1978||Acquired as stripped hulk. Comprehensively restored to working order in 1997. Currently main line certified.|
|K 917||NZR Hutt Workshops||294||1934||2001||Used as a static boiler supply at Hutt Workshops prior to preservation. Stored as an incomplete hulk with the tender from K 928, originally brought as a spare boiler for KA 945.|
|KA 945||NZR Hutt Workshops||328||1939||1975||First KA built. Purchased by Len Southward, loaned and later donated to Steam Inc. Restored to operating condition in 1985, withdrawn in 1995. Work has started on 945 to return it to working order.|
|Ohai Railway Board NO 2||Mitsubishi||1476||1967||1992||Used as the yard shunter at Paekakariki. Owned by Richard Gibbard.|
|WF 386||NZR Addington Workshops||66||1905||1978||Previously statically displayed at Taumarunui. Previously owned by Taumarunui District Council, some overhaul work was carried out but overhauled stopped due to lack of interest. WF 386 is currently stored in the carriage shed at Paekakariki.|
- J 1211 and KA 942, now of Mainline Steam were originally stored at Paekakariki before restoration in the Auckland area.
- WMR #9/N 453 owned by the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Trust is currently based at Steam Incorporated, with some work having been carried out towards its restoration.
- NRZ 15A class Garratt 398, owned by the Flying Fifteen Locomotive Society arrived at Steam Incorporated in May 2011. The locomotive is being prepared for long term storage, however the group have eventual plans to run it on the main line.
- 1909-built 0-4-0T Barclay #1181, acquired from Len Southward in the 1970s was owned by the group until it was sold in 2012 to a private owner for restoration, based at the Silver Stream Railway.
- A&G Price rail tractor NO 152 was bought by Steam Incorporated in 1978. It was rendered surplus to the group's requirements in 1994 and is now with the Ormondville Rail Preservation Group.
- DSA 305 was purchased by Steam Incorporated in 1986 from the NZR. It was used until 1994 when it was sold to the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway, and has since been on-sold to a private owner at Cable Bay.
- The remains of WB 292 and WB 299, owned by Hugh McCracken, were stored at Paekakariki from 1989 until 2013 when they were moved to the Rimutaka Incline Railway depot at Maymorn for eventual restoration.
Steam Incorporated owns one of New Zealand's largest fleets of heritage passenger carriages certified for mainline operation on the regular national network. Originally painted in a unique chocolate brown livery with yellow lining to differentiate them from carriages in service on regular trains, the paint was found to fade and look shabby, and when Tranz Rail, NZR's successor, repainted their carriages in a blue livery in the early 1990s, Steam Incorporated reverted to the "Midland Red" paint scheme that had been used for most passenger carriages in New Zealand since the 1920s. Steam Incorporated own a variety of carriage types, such as five wide-bodied AA class 50 ft wooden passenger carriages with balcony ends. In 2008, these carriages were painted in "Pullman Green" for use in the North Island Main Trunk Railway centenary celebrations. In addition, Steam Inc. have a number of 50-foot and 56-foot steel-clad passenger carriages, one of which has been converted for use as a buffet/souvenir car. The active fleet stands at 11 fully restored and main line certified carriages, with several under restoration (2) or stored (4).
Along with carriages, the society owns a number of guards vans and former goods wagons, some of which are certified for main line operation as locomotive service wagons.
|Key:||In Service||In Service, Main Line Certified||Under Overhaul/Restoration||Stored||Static Display||Scrapped|
|Number||TMS Number||Builder||Year built||Carriage type||Arrived at Steam Incorporated||Notes|
|AA 1030||A 4012 (in Preservation)||NZR Petone||1908||50' wooden body, wide-body mainline carriage||October 1977||Obtained as a derelict from Hutt Workshops. Restored and entered Steam Inc. service in 1981. |
|AA 1071||A 4029 (in Preservation)||NZR Petone||1909||50' wooden body, wide-body mainline carriage||1976||Withdrawn from NZR service in Auckland. Returned to service in 1977 as the first Steam Inc. carriage to be restored. |
|AA 1073||A 4035 (in Preservation)||NZR Petone||1909||50' wooden body, wide-body mainline carriage||1976||Withdrawn from NZR service in Auckland. Returned to service 1979, car still has original style pressed steel internal ceiling.|
|AA 1265||A 4070 (in Preservation)||NZR Petone||1912||50' wooden body, wide-body mainline carriage||1977||Obtained as a derelict from Hutt Workshops. Restored and entered Steam Inc. service in 1981.|
|AA 1267||A 4087 (in Preservation)||NZR Petone||1912||50' wooden body, wide-body mainline carriage||1976||Obtained from Rotten Row at Marton, first carriage acquired by Steam Inc. Restored and entered Steam Inc. service in 1980. Still has original style pressed steel internal ceiling; first Steam Inc. car to be painted in red livery.|
|AA 1618||A56006||NZR Petone||1927||56' steel-panelled mainline carriage||October 1982||One of the first batch of five 56-foot long carriages, originally built as a sleeping car. Restored as buffet and souvenir car by Steam Inc., entered service in 1984.|
|AA 1757||A 50215||NZR Otahuhu||1932||50' steel-panelled wide-body mainline carriage||1983||Entered Steam Inc. service in 1984. Withdrawn in 1994 for a comprehensive overhaul, overhaul restarted in 2005 and re-entered service in 2009.|
|AA 1769||A 50274||NZR Otahuhu||1932||50' steel-panelled wide-body mainline carriage||June 1981||Built by NZR as a First Class car but later had Second Class seats installed with generous leg room. Entered Steam Inc. service in 1984.|
|AA 1783||A 50290||NZR Otahuhu||1933||50' steel-panelled wide-body mainline carriage||June 1983||Entered Steam Inc. service in 1984, withdrawn in 2002 for a comprehensive overhaul. Overhaul begun 2012.|
|A 1859||A 56916||NZR Otahuhu||1938||56' steel-panelled mainline carriage||1984||Last 56-foot First Class car in original Main Trunk condition. Equipped with pressure ventilation. Purchased by Keith Magnussen in 1983, later donated to Steam Incorporated. Stored awaiting restoration |
|A 1870||A 56105||NZR Otahuhu||1937||56' steel-panelled mainline carriage||May 2010||Surplus ex-Auckland suburban service in 1996. Sold to Waitara Railway Preservation Society, stored at Brixton until 2010 when sold to Steam Incorporated. Stored.|
|AL 1917||AL 56066||NZR Otahuhu||1939||56' steel-panelled mainline car-van||1996||Converted to carvan at Otahuhu for suburban work in 1982, withdrawn in 1996. Sold to Steam Incorporated, former luggage compartment modified to provide space for loco support crew. |
|A 1942||A 56453||NZR Otahuhu||1939||56' steel-panelled mainline carriage||1996||Surplus ex-Auckland suburban service in 1996. Under restoration, will be fitted with a South Island First Class-style Coupe compartment.|
|A 1943||A 56461||NZR Otahuhu||1939||56' steel-panelled mainline carriage||May 2010||Surplus ex-Auckland Suburban trains 1996. Sold to Gisborne City Vintage Railway, later on-sold to Waitara Railway Preservation Society. Sold to Steam Incorporated in 2010. Currently in storage.|
|A 1953||A 56544||NZR Otahuhu||1939||56' steel-panelled mainline carriage||2008||Ex-Auckland charter fleet. Overhaul completed in 2012, entered Steam Inc. service in 2013.|
|A 1989||A 56769||NZR Otahuhu||1943||56' steel-panelled mainline carriage||1996||Surplus ex-Auckland suburban service 1996. Restoration completed in 2002 and entered Steam Inc. service in 2003.|
|A 2011||AB 3534||NZR Otahuhu||1939||56' steel-panelled mainline carriage||2008||Built as Vice Regal staff carriage A 2011. Later re-built as an AB buffet car for Endeavour service, later modified with reduced counter and additional seating. Withdrawn in 2007 and stored at Hutt Shops. Purchased by Steam Inc. in 2008, and stored awaiting restoration.|
|F 524||F 1164||NZR Otahuhu||1930||50' wooden body guards van||1986||Entered Steam Inc. service in 1988, withdrawn 1993. Currently used as a photographic display vehicle.|
|F 609||F 2391||NZR Otahuhu||1944||56' steel panelled guards van||1990?||Used on Southerner & Endeavour trains, then briefly used as a Way & Works vehicle. Stored awaiting future restoration.|
|-||FM 1254||Daewoo Heavy Industries, Korea||1981||50' steel modular guards van||2008||Withdrawn by NZR in 1988. Sold to a private owner in 1989, and stored at the Mainline Steam Trust Parnell until 2008. Restored and entered Steam Inc. service in 2009. Last guards van in revenue freight use in Auckland area, still fitted with original interior.|
Steam Incorporated has operated or participated in excursions to almost all parts of the national railway network that has been open since the late 1970s. As one of the first organisations to operate a private carriage fleet, excursions have been run since 1978. During the early years of the society's existence, NZR would not permit heritage operators to use their own locomotives on the national network, thus limiting the society's locomotive activities to the area of The Engine Shed. Since 1985 however, this policy has been abandoned and Steam Incorporated have run the majority of their excursions using society owned Steam and Diesel locomotives. Popular excursions have been through the central North Island, annual "Art Deco" expresses to Napier, to the centennial celebrations at Dunedin Railway Station in 2006, and to the centennial celebrations at Feilding in 2008. Some excursions are operated solely by Steam Incorporated crews with the society's own equipment (with the locomotive driver and fireman supplied by Kiwirail), while others have been in conjunction with other New Zealand preservation societies and their locomotives, such as the "double drivers" excursions featuring two KA class locomotives.
Some of the more notable involvements Steam Incorporated have had were in 1993 when KA 945 and Steam Inc carriages toured for 3 weeks around New Zealand on the "Crunchie Train", and in 2008 when Steam Incorporated operated the Parliamentary Special NIMT Centennial train on behalf of Ontrack, using primarily Steam Incorporated carriages and a mix of Steam Inc. and other mainline certified locomotives.