Graham Hutchins fell in love with trains at an early age. Living in the railway town of Te Kuiti, he often gazed on the steaming monsters as they thundered through the King Country. Before long train travel became more than a pastime, more than a fascination: he was hooked. In his new book he recounts a journey he undertook alone on the night train to Auckland at the tender age of 10. From then on he travelled as much as he could, and later as a young man searched out the smaller forgotten lines to experience what they had to offer. 'Stop the Train! I Want To Get On' describes journeys throughout both islands of New Zealand, on regular passenger trains, railcars, freight trains and work trains. The routes covered include the Central Otago line, the Gisborne Railcar, the Southerner to Invercargill, a mixed train through rural Taranaki, a worker's train from Greymouth on the Rewanui Incline, the Endeavour to Hawke's Bay and the Silver Fern Railcar. Many services have now been axed, but Graham Hutchins vividly recalls their delights, from the scenery outside to the often primitive conditions inside, along with memories of the people he met along the way.
Sometimes alone, on other occasions with his mate Russell or his wife Jenny, he conveys the unique experience and sheer pleasure of rail travel in every corner of New Zealand, from the 1950s to the present day.