Cyclops MacKays

Although it’s not so long ago: this dates from about 2007 when the overpass of the ‘Ewy’ above the railway line at MacKays Crossing was being built, and shows ‘Cyclops’, a restored example of one of the original 3-car electric multiple units that were put into service on the Kapiti line as far as Paekakariki in 1949. The electrification was extended to Paraparaumu in 1983 and then to Waikanae in 2011.

In Greek mythology, Cyclops was a race of one-eyed giants, so for this set with the original single large headlight at each end (instead of the twin sealed-beam unit that every other set was given in the 1980s), Cyclops seemed an obvious name to give it.

The restoration included new Midland red paint and earned the then TranzMetro a “business in conservation” award from the New Zealand Department of Conservation and the Wellington Conservation Board in 2006. The set dated from 1949, but was not put into service until the Hutt Valley lines were electrified in 1954.

As can be seen, the line had yet to be double tracked at the time of the photo.  We aren’t aware of it being run to Waikanae, but it may have been.  It is now in the custody of a conservation group which has sidings at Maymorn north of Upper Hutt on the Wairarapa Line.