The domestic passenger fleet comprises late 19th and early 20th century rolling stock. Most vehicles are the traditional narrow-bodied "A" series wooden carriages, turned out in a "Carnation Red" livery (an original NZR colour), featuring opening windows and outdoor viewing balconies on each end. These carriages have either side-facing longitudinal seating or arrangements of paired seating on one side of the aisle and single seating on the other. These carriages are named after the Maori migration canoes that brought the Maori people to New Zealand from Hawaiiki.
The core fleet of carriages includes:
Notable unique carriages which are operated on special occasions include...
- AF 804 "Tainui",
- A 1161 "Mataatua",
- A 1162 "Aotea",
- A 1222 "Te Arawa",
- F 141 "Nga Tira",
- VB 624 "Waka Whenua",
- UB 1554 "Nga Hau",
- C 472, a very historic Clemenson-Patent six-wheeled carriage, built by the Oldbury Car Company, England in 1879. Used on Auckland's first railway. The carriage runs at special event days, such as on "Day Out With Thomas".
- A 543, "Manakura", 44 1/2 ft Clerestory roof kitchen/diner carriage with seating for 25, coal fired range and stunning stained glass windows (in the clerestory). Withdrawn from service in 2002 for an overhaul, the carriage is stored.