This is a page on which I will incrementally add locomotive engine service rules, instruction, study, and examination material pertinent to New Zealand Railways locomotive enginemen throughout the 1960s and 70s. Any material not my own has been credited to the donor.

   These resources were created long before the advent of word processors, the World Wide Web and the instigation of gender-inclusion. They constitute material provided by the New Zealand Government Railways’ Chief Mechanical Engineer’s office to the locomotive running branch for operational and instructional purposes and should not be taken as globally authoritative.

   I expect that this material would eventually no longer be available. I hope my action in reproducing it here will be to maintain it on the historical record and as a valid reference source.

   The task of loading this material onto the website will be an extended work-in-progress; there’s a lot of stuff… some of which I still hope to acquire. For periods of time, some parts will be incomplete. Stay in touch…

The NZR Locomotive Branch Correspondence Courses covered the following elements (and I hope to have them all here in due course):

  • Locomotive Trainee & Locomotive Assistant’s section, consisting of 9 Lessons. comprising Locomotive Trainees’ Introduction to Training, and instruction for Locomotive Trainees to be placed in charge of boilers-in-steam (the Steam Locomotive ‘Boiler Ticket’ – up until late 1970, a prerequisite to sitting the fireman’s exam)
  • An Enginedriver 2nd-Grade section
  • An Enginedriver 1st-Grade section
  • An enginedriver’s Electric Qualification section (the ‘Electric Ticket’)

NZR LOCOMOTIVE BRANCH CORRESPONDENCE COURSES [a work-in-progress] – click on the blue links



Locomotive Trainee (Engine Cleaner) Steam ‘Boiler Ticket’

Lessons 1-9: [Lessons 4, 5 and 8 are still required from a generous donor]

Notification of Boiler Qualification – F Moffat



[This material kindly contributed by Paul Kerwin]

Lesson 01: Introduction, Rules and instruction, Conduct Duties, the Correspondence                          Course, Points, Signalling

Lesson 02: Signalling (1) – Aspects & Indications, Whistle signals, Detonator signals,                            Track Worker signals, Hand signals

Lesson 03: Signalling (2): Yards, Interlocked Signalbox, Double & Single Lines, Points &                        Crossings, Wagons in sidings, Shunting signals, Points indicators,                                            Intermediate signals

Lesson 04: Signalling (3) – Definitions, Double-Unit signals, Switchlocked Sidings,                                  Protection of trains

Lesson 05: Signalling (4) – Electric Train Tablet, 2-Position Fixed Signals, the Working                          Timetable

Lesson 06: The Diesel-Electric locomotive (1)

Lesson 07: Electrical & Fire Safety

Lesson 08: The Diesel-Electric locomotive (2)

Lesson 09: Trust Store, LA duties, Locomotive servicing

Lesson 10: Locomotive vigilance system, Air brake



[Lesson 11 kindly contributed by Leon James and The Pleasant Point Railway]


[This material kindly contributed by Peter Dent]

Lesson 01: Introduction

Lesson 02: Super Heated Steam

Lesson 03: The Enginedriver

Lesson 04: Locomotive Management – Inspection, Care, & Management

Lesson 05: Walschaert’s Motion Gear

Lesson 06: The Baker Valve Gear

Lesson 07: The Westinghouse Air Brake

Lesson 08: The Air Compressor

Assignment 8: [acknowledging the late Jimmy McIntosh]

Lesson 09: Steam Driven Air Compressor Governor – Main Res – Air Pressure Gauges

Assignment 9: [J.D. McIntosh]

Lesson 10:

Lesson 11:

Lesson 13: The Triple Valve

[Lesson 12 courtesy of Leon James and The Pleasant Point Railway]

[Lesson 14 courtesy of Leon James and The Pleasant Point Railway]

Assignment 14: [J.D. McIntosh]

Lesson 15: A-6-ET & A-7-EL Air Brake Equipment

Lesson 16: Train Management & Brake Manipulation

Assignment 16: [J.D. McIntosh]

Lesson 17: Locomotive Breakdowns



[This material kindly contributed by Peter Dent]

Lesson 01: Description of Steam Locomotive Boiler & Attachments

Lesson 02: Superheated Steam & Hydrostatic Lubricator

Lesson 03: Lubrication of Engine Motion – drive gear

Lesson 04: How an Injector Works

Lesson 05: Air Compressor

Lesson 06: Preparation for the Road

Lesson 07: Boiler Failures & Locomotive Breakdowns


ENGINEDRIVER 2nd GRADE – Diesel (1970)

Lesson 01: Locomotive Diesel & Mechanical – Introduction

Lesson 02: Locomotive Fuel, Lubrication, and Engine Cooling Systems – General

Lesson 03: Superchargers, Turbochargers, and Governors – General

Lesson 04: The Westinghouse Air Brake Triple Valve – General

Lesson 05: The No. 4 Driver’s Equalising Brake Valve and Feed Valve

Lesson 06: The 204 hp Ds- and Dsa-class Drewery Diesel-Mechanical Shunting                                        Locomotives [this lesson contributed by Gerald Harris]

Lesson 07: The Drewery Dsb-class and Mitsubishi Dsa- and Dsb-class Diesel-Hydraulic                          Shunting Locomotives

Lesson 08: Fundamental Principles of Electricity

Lesson 09: The A7EL Air Brake Equipment (with AH7 brake valve)

Lesson 10: Vigilance Control, Wheelslip Device, and Deadman’s Device

Lesson 11: English Electric Dg, Dh, and Df-class Locomotives – Diesel-Electric                                          Fundamentals [Df content contributed by Gerald Harris]

Lesson 12: Dg and Dh-class Locomotives – Electrical Circuits, Fault Location

Lesson 13: [Not used]

Lesson 14: American Westinghouse 26L Air Brake Equipment (on Da-class No. 1440                              onward)

Lesson 15: General Motors (EMD/GMD) Da and Db-class Locomotives – General

Lesson 16: Da-class Locomotives – Operation & Electrical Circuits

Lesson 17: Da-class Locomotives – Fault Troubleshooting

Lesson 17A: General Motors (GMD) Df-class Locomotives [contributed by Gerald Harris]

Lesson 18: Train Handling

Lesson 19: Mitsubishi Dj-class Locomotives – General

Lesson 19A: Mitsubishi Dj-class Locomotives – Electrical Circuits

Lesson 20: Signalling & Interlocking

Lesson 21: The Working Timetable

Lesson 22: Signals (Tablet & Pilotworking). Errors in Perceiving Signals

Lesson 23: Signals (Automatic signalling). Use of Radio Communications

Lesson 24: Train Control

Lesson 25: The General Electric Dx-class Locomotive

Note: The subject-matter of Lessons 22 and 23 is known on rail systems outside of New Zealand as ‘Safeworking’.



Nissho Iwai Co. (Kawasaki/Toshiba) RM-class Diesel-Electric railcar (Silver Fern):

[This material from 1984 kindly contributed by Gerald Harris]



Enginedriver 2nd-Grade Mechanical exam Q&A

Enginedriver 2nd-Grade Brake exam Q&A

Enginedriver 2nd-Grade Signals exam Q&A

Enginedriver 1st-Grade Brake exam Q&A

Enginedriver 1st Grade  Signals exam Q&A

Enginedriver 1st Grade Electric Locomotives & EMUs exam Q&A