List of NZ railfan jargon

From TrainSpottingWorld, for Rail fans everywhere
Flying tomato livery. Standard NZGR livery has gray on the cab sides instead of orange.
Tranz Rail Bumble-Bee livery.
Tranz Rail Cato blue livery, seen on these 2 DC class locomotives.
Auckland's MAXX Blue livery.
File:EF30163+Overlander NearWaiouru 22March2003 JChristianson.jpg
Almost all of the "Toasters" are painted in the International Orange livery.
File:Tollnz DAR.jpg.jpg
DAR 517 in Toll Rail colours.

This is a list of jargon commonly used by railfans in New Zealand.

Contents: Top - 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




  • Clockwork Orange: 1970s orange and yellow livery; used on DX class (also known as "Tropical" or "Popsicle").[3]
  • Corn-cob: Toll Rail yellow and aquamarine livery
  • Cyclops: restored Wellington EMU set DM 556.[4]



  • 'En and chicken: N and M class steam locomotives working in multiple. 'En, an abbreviation of 'hen', refers to the larger N class locomotive, and chicken refers to its underpowered M class assistant.[5]


  • Fiats: NZR RM class 88 seater railcars.[1]
  • Flying Tomato: Simpler version of the Fruit Salad livery, with grey replaced with red
  • Fruit Salad: NZR red and grey livery with yellow highlights, also known as International Orange


  • Grass Grub: 88 seater railcars that were converted to de-motorised carriages for locomotive haulage. Their name came from their green livery.[2]
  • Gull Roost: The Onerahi Branch's 323 metre long bridge across the harbour in Whangarei. Named due to the large amount of gulls that roosted on the bridge. The branch closed in 1933 and the bridge no longer exists.[6]



  • Jigger - Common slang name for a (motor) section car, elsewhere known as a trike, trolley, quad or Speeder



  • Longest xylophone in the world: former road/rail bridge on the now-closed portion of the Ross Branch south of Hokitika, named for the loud rattling its planks made.[9]





File:E66 Petone Workshops 1906.JPG
"Pearson's Dream" just after it was completed in February 1906.
  • Pearson's Dream: E 66, nicknamed after its designer, G. A. Pearson, as it did not fulfill his ambitions.[11]
  • The Pig: DXR class locomotive 8007.
  • Popsicle: 1970s orange and yellow DX class livery
  • Pullet: M class, named for their lack of pulling power in comparison to other classes.[5]




  • Skippy: Alternative name for a Toll-liveried locomotive. The name is dervied from Skippy the Bush Kangaroo as Toll is an Australian company.








See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 David Jones, Where Railcars Roamed: The Railcars Which Have Served New Zealand Railways (Wellington: Wellington Tramway Museum, 1997), 22.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Eric Heath and Bob Stott, Classic Railcars, Electric and Diesel Locomotives of New Zealand: Volume Two (Grantham House: Wellington, 1993), 34.
  3. Geoffrey B. Churchman and Tony Hurst, The Railways of New Zealand: A Journey Through History (Auckland: HarperCollins, 1991), 58.
  4. Department of Conservation, "Awards honour efforts to protect our cultural and natural heritage", published 10 August 2006, accessed 22 January 2008.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Churchman and Hurst, The Railways of New Zealand, 144.
  6. hurchman and Hurst, The Railways of New Zealand, 100.
  7. Churchman and Hurst, The Railways of New Zealand, 189.
  8. New Zealand Film Unit, KB Country, 1968.
  9. Churchman and Hurst, The Railways of New Zealand, 193.
  10. Heath and Stott, Classic Railcars, Electric and Diesel Locomotives, 20.
  11. W. N. Cameron, Rimutaka Incline: Extracts from "A Line of Railway" (Wellington: New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society, 1992), 83.
  12. Churchman and Hurst, The Railways of New Zealand, 179.
  13. Jones, Where Railcars Roamed, 13.
  14. Jones, Where Railcars Roamed, 14.