The DBR class were rebuilt from EMD G8 1982-83. By 2017 all were withdrawn and most have been sold to heritage rail operators. 1199 was formerly leased to Auckland Transport for push pull trains. 1226 was a spare unit for these trains but not actually leased to AT. It was used on the port trains and is assisting on this train emerging from Purewa tunnel.
Trains on 3' 6" (1.067m) track from Whangarei to Bluff with virtually heritage rebuilt EMD and GE locomotives still the mainstay power. The network was privatized in 1990's and operated by Toll until 2008 when state owned KiwiRail was established.