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Opening the Johnsonville electric train service


This invitation to the opening ceremony of the Johnsonville electric multiple unit service in July 1938 was another example of the publicity material produced by the Railways Studios.

The electrified rail line between central Wellington and the northern suburb of Johnsonville was officially opened by Minister of Railways Dan Sullivan and Wellington Mayor Thomas Hislop. This steep, winding line had been built by the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company in 1886 and until 1937 was part of the main trunk route out of the capital. With the completion of the new Tawa Flat deviation that year, the by-passed Johnsonville section was converted into a suburban route. The line was served by English Electric DM-class multiple units, the first of their kind in New Zealand.


Alexander Turnbull Library,
Reference: Eph-B-Rail-WII-1941-02
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any reuse of this image.

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Opening the Johnsonville electric train service, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated