Story: Railways

Steam-locomotive stamps

Steam-locomotive stamps

The New Zealand post office issued a set of four stamps featuring steam locomotives in 1973, two years after steam engines had been completely replaced by diesels. The W-class tank locomotive on the three-cent stamp was the first engine built by the New Zealand Railways workshops in 1889. The X class on the four-cent stamp, first built in 1908, were among the first four-cylinder compound locomotives in the world. The AB class was for many years the workhorse of New Zealand rail. Between 1915 and 1926, 141 were built. No. 608, pictured on the five-cent stamp, was named Passchendaele and carried a memorial plaque to commemorate the First World War battle. The JA class’s No. 1274, which featured on the 10-cent stamp, was the last of the 35 of this class. It was the last steam locomotive built in New Zealand, in 1956.

Using this item

New Zealand Post
Reference: 1973 Locomotives stamp issue

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Neill Atkinson, 'Railways - Steam locomotives', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 15 August 2022)

Story by Neill Atkinson, published 11 Mar 2010, reviewed & revised 11 Mar 2016