Wikipedia:WikiProject NZR/Manual of style

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

This manual of style intends to offer guidance for editors of topics related to rail transport in New Zealand and is a policy of the NZR WikiProject. It seeks to provide clear standards on notability and to establish stylistic standards based upon those found in reliable textual sources related to the subject. Any additions and constructive comments to improve the manual are welcomed, but should be discussed on the talk page prior to being added to the manual. Corrections that do not alter the substance of the manual, such as grammatical fixes, do not require prior discussion.

General pointers[edit]

As these articles pertain to New Zealand, New Zealand English is preferred for all articles. It rarely differs from most other forms of English, though American English is to be avoided.

Railway jargon should be avoided whenever possible. When it must be included, it should be defined or a link provided to a relevant article. Please be aware that New Zealand terminology sometimes differs from foreign terminology and Wikipedia articles may be under foreign names with minimal to no coverage of the topic as it relates to New Zealand. Some articles are especially Americentric or Anglocentric. A New Zealand perspective should be added to the article; for example, see the "New Zealand" section of branch line. New articles should be avoided unless New Zealand practice is sufficiently different and notable to make a new article necessary.

Please provide adequate references. NZR articles should be kept to a high standard, with references so readers may trace the information, relevant external links to provide more coverage, and further reading for those interested.

To aid navigation, please include relevant templates in articles. {{NZR Lines}} is suited to all railway lines, {{NZR Passenger}} to express passenger trains, etc.


The style rules below deal with some issues of disambiguation relating to specific issues, but some general guidelines are necessary. Defensive disambiguation, i.e. disambiguating a page name when no other page sharing its title exists, is typically unnecessary, especially for Māori names. If a name does turn out to be shared elsewhere, the disambiguation can then be made.

NZR articles should adhere to the New Zealand naming conventions guidelines. Accordingly, geographically recognised features and items of infrastructure such as lines and stations should be disambiguated with a comma, not brackets. For example, "Main North Line, New Zealand", not "Main North Line (New Zealand)". In rare cases where two different articles share the same name and are both in New Zealand, disambiguate with the region name. For example, "Racecourse Railway Station, Auckland" and "Racecourse Railway Station, Canterbury", with "Racecourse Railway Station, New Zealand" established as a disambiguation page.

Locomotives and other forms of rolling stock, however, do not fall under these conventions. The naming conventions for geography naturally do not apply. Accordingly, they are disambiguated in brackets, e.g. "NZR A class (1873)" and "NZR A class (1906)", with "NZR A class" a disambiguation page. A special exception for all railcar types exists and is outlined below. Also note the use of "NZR" as a disambiguator to distinguish New Zealand classes from similarly named classes in other countries.

Locomotives and railcars[edit]


All locomotive classes and railcars operated by the New Zealand Railways Department (NZR) and its predecessors/successors (e.g. Canterbury Provincial Railways, Toll NZ, KiwiRail) are notable. Although covered by this notability standard, experimental equipment, especially that which did not receive a formal classification, should nonetheless assert its notability through clear identification of such things as unique features, innovations, or the equipment's pivotal role in the development of future equipment.

Locomotive classes operated by significant private railways such as the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company (WMR) are notable.

Locomotives operated by bush tramways are generally not notable and should only be covered if they have a claim to fame via innovation, record setting, or prolific regional/national usage.

Individual locomotives in almost all cases do not require articles, and notable class members can usually be adequately covered in the class's page. Exceptions may be made in the case of particularly exceptional locomotives, e.g. W 192, the first locomotive built by NZR, or JA 1274, the last steam locomotive built for or by NZR.


Article titles should be "New Zealand x class", where x is the official locomotive classification. There is no need to capitalise the first letter of 'class'. In the case of a locomotive class operated by both NZR and other government departments or private railways, favour the NZR classification.

Prior to the introduction of the Traffic Monitoring System (TMS), locomotive classifications had the first letter in upper case and any subsequent letters in superscript upper case; post-TMS, the superscript has not been employed for subsequent letters. As all steam locomotives were withdrawn prior to the introduction of TMS and the vast majority of other locomotives have operated in the TMS era, a simple standard for the text format of classifications has been adopted:

  • All steam locomotive classifications should have their first letter in upper case, e.g. NZR F class. Any subsequent letters should be in superscript upper case as shown on their cast numberplates, e.g. AB class. An exception is article titles: the standard is to write subsequent letters in ordinary lower case, e.g. NZR Ab class. Should any other situation render superscript upper case impractical or impossible, favour the ordinary lower case.

If a classification has been used multiple times, differentiate the classes by adding their year of first introduction to the article title, e.g. NZR C class (1873) and NZR C class (1930). If a single class had multiple classifications, the title should reflect the most common classification, e.g. although some members of the DG class were classified as DH until 1968, the article is titled NZR DG class with mention given to the DH classification in the text.

All railcars were classified as members of the NZR RM class, and thus individual classes must be identified by alternative nicknames. Use the most common and recognisable alternative name, and title articles by the format "NZR RM class (Name)", e.g. NZR RM class (Standard). As many readers are not familiar with NZR or rail terminology in general, a recommended format for links on other pages is to provide a link to the general RM class page, then a link to the specific class in question, then a link to the general article on railcars, e.g. NZR RM class Vulcan railcar. This provides links to all three articles that can provide information and clarification on the topic for readers.

Class registers[edit]

Where the information is available, a sortable table should be used in preference to a list of locomotives / railcars / EMUs / DMUs. These tables should be known as the "Class register".



All lines that formed part of the network of NZR and its predecessors and successors are notable, regardless of how brief their distance covered or period of operation was. This is intended to cover those lines considered to be main lines, secondary lines, and branch lines; it does not cover industrial/commercial sidings. Articles are not required for every individual siding, and the most notable sidings should be covered in the articles about the lines to which they connect.

Private railways that operated any section of line in revenue service are notable. Private railways that failed to operate a single revenue service must have their notability established, e.g. part of a major controversy, failure had significant economic ramifications.

Urban tramway and cable car networks are notable in all cases.

Bush tramways are generally not notable. There were literally hundreds of tramways throughout New Zealand, many of a temporary nature. Articles should only be created for tramways with a claim to fame, e.g. innovative, well-established, significant in operational scope (distance and/or time worked). The Sanson Tramway and the Taupo Totara Timber Company's tramway are prime examples of tramways deserving of articles.


Lines should be referred to by their most common name, e.g. North Island Main Trunk Railway, Main South Line, Stillwater - Westport Line. Branch lines should always be referred to as the Terminus-Name Branch, e.g. Kurow Branch. In some cases the branch was popularly known by at least two town names, typically due to lengthy periods of termination in more than one location. In cases where one name lacks a clear dominance over any others, favour that of the terminus used longest. For example, were Browns Branch as equally a common name as Hedgehope Branch, Hedgehope Branch would be favoured as the line terminated there for most of its history.

In some cases lines are also known by other names by current operators, such as Ohai Industrial Line for the Wairio Branch by Toll Rail; Melling Line by Metlink for the Melling Branch. Convention is to favour the Terminus-Name Branch style, with the alternate name noted in the introduction and a redirect established under the alternate name. The primary reason for this policy is due to the changeability of the "official" name; Terminus-Name Branch is the historically established standard style used with overwhelming frequency in reliable textual sources and it is also the most precise name, thus it is favoured.

In some cases, lines may be known by the name of their former or current operators - such as the Midland Line, New Zealand. In this case and in others, it is best to keep information on the company that constructed and operated the line separate (in the case of the Midland Line, the New Zealand Midland Railway Company covers the company, whereas the article covers the line itself).

Railway stations[edit]


There is an ongoing debate over whether railway stations in general are sufficiently notable in and of themselves for inclusion on Wikipedia. As for NZR stations, all articles that have been created thus far should be expanded as much as possible with historical and operational data. Dunedin Railway Station is an example of a station article that satisfactorily establishes the notability of the station in question and beyond a doubt belongs on Wikipedia. Except in cases similar to the Dunedin Railway Station where creation of an article is desirable, this Manual of Style does not advise for or against the creation of railway station articles.


New Zealand has railway stations, not train stations, except that in Auckland MAXX stations are called Train Station. Article titles should be "Place-Name Railway Station", as in Wellington Railway Station. An exception is the Britomart Transport Centre.

Passenger trains[edit]


All named express trains and other long distance services operated by the NZR or WMR and successors are notable.

The notability of unnamed long distance trains must be clearly established, e.g. significant operational period, regionally important. Many unnamed long distance trains can be adequately covered on pages about named trains that operated the same route either before or after the unnamed service, e.g. Wairarapa Connection sufficiently covers all the unnamed Wairarapa carriage trains from 1964, and New Plymouth Night Express sufficiently covers its unnamed and shortened daytime successor. Railcar routes should be covered in the operations section on pages for individual lines and railcar classes.

Suburban commuter services are not notable and should not be included, such as those operated on Wellington's electrified network.


Article titles should reflect the express's name. Many provincial expresses were simply named after the provincial centre in which they were terminated in the style of Place-Name Express, e.g. Napier Express. In these cases, "Express" should have its first letter capitalised. Those named trains without "express" in their name should not have it included; "Silver Star" is preferable over "Silver Star express".

Express names should not be italicised or enclosed in speech marks. There is no precedent for such formatting in any reliable NZR text sources and it constitutes unnecessary and excessive formatting. Trains should be referred to as, for example, the Northland Express, not the Northland Express or the "Northland Express".

Preservation societies[edit]


All preservation societies that are members of the Federation of Rail Organisations of New Zealand (FRONZ) are notable.

Societies that are not members of FRONZ must have their notability asserted, e.g. collection has historical significance.


Article titles should reflect the society's common name without legal markers such as "Inc." The solitary exception to this rule is Steam Incorporated as its name would otherwise make no sense.



New Zealand's railway figures have rarely achieved a degree of notability that satisfies Wikipedia's biography criteria. Articles about people related to NZR should be added with caution, and with care taken to assert the individual's significance. A. L. Beattie, who introduced the Pacific wheel arrangement amongst others, is a prime example of an outstanding figure with a solid claim to notability.

All Railway Ministers are sufficiently notable as members of the national government, and many have additional claims to notability through other political activities unrelated to the railways.


The name should be written in the style most common in reliable sources. For example, A. L. Beattie is normally referred to by his initials rather than his full name, Alfred Luther Beattie.