English Electric unit as built. I believe they originally had a silver stripe along the side.First major modification with the single headlight changed to twin lights. A Ganz-Mavag unit in the background with the first change in colour scheme.
It was with some sadness that we saw the passing of the English Electric multiple units (EMU’s) last week. These hard working unit’s have served the Wellington region since 1938. The first batch were slightly different to the post war version having vents in the entry/exit doors.
Over the years they have been refurbished several times but underneath they were still the same old units. Eventually the older units were retired and replaced by the Hungarian built Ganz-Mavag units which were not an immediate success due to them not being built as per specifications. They were oversized for the tunnels and the track beds had to be lowered to enable them to be used. I wonder if they will still be around after 70+ years service. Time will tell.
Just recently the latest Korean built Matangi EMU’s were introduced and put into service without too much ado. The remaining English Electric EMU’s are now being withdrawn and scrapped but there are some people out there hoping to preserve at least one set for posterity.
One interesting piece of history to come out of all this is that Dot’s Aunty Gretta was a passenger on the inaugural train back in 1938 as a 7 year old and was invited to travel on the final service before withdrawal. What an achievement.
As printed in the Hutt News (notice any resemblance to Dot?)