The RM 133 Railcar Trust Board was set up in 2000 to specifically save and restore the remains of ex NZR Drewry Twinset Articulated Railcar RM 133, the last known substantial survivor of a class of 35 Railcars to serve on most provincial and mainline routes throughout New Zealand between 1955 and 1978 and well remembered for replacing steam hauled expresses in the earlier period. This valuable survivor was located at Auckland International Airport and was used for staff evacuation training simulating an aircraft between 1985 and 2000 when it was offered for preservation.
Over the course of time the trust became aware of the substantial amount of Drewry Twinset Railcar components that included cab control equipment, light fittings, seats and under floor equipment that were removed from other members of the class that were being scrapped and thankfully saved by other preservation organisations and individuals. These have now been kindly donated and to date have been restored to a mainline serviceable condition and await fitting.
The biggest news for the trust was the knowledge that the two body halves of Drewry Twinset Railcar, RM 121, had also survived. One halfwas discovered in Waitomo and the whereabouts of other half was unknown, although rumours were circulating about a North Auckland location. Some meticulous detective work was carried out by one of the trusts' members and eventually it was located sitting in a quarry near Kerikeri and once inspected, was found to be in considerably better condition than RM 133.
After negotiations with the owner, this half of RM121, that was the same as the burnt out end of RM133, was purchased and transported south to Pahiatua. Initially it was planned to restore this in conjunction with the good end of RM133, but this was soon changed once negotiations with the Waitomo owner were commenced and it was found he was prepared to do a swap deal for two wooden carriages.
The Waitomo end has now been moved to Pahiatua and finally the two halves are back together. The goal of the trust is to now bring RM 121 up to a structural and mechanical condition to meet the requirements for future running on the national rail network.
If you wish to support the restoration of RM 121, a piece of New Zealand's Railway history, you can make a donation below.