Story: Canterbury places

Building the Ōtira tunnel

Building the Ōtira tunnel

One of New Zealand’s great engineering feats was the construction of a railway tunnel beneath the Southern Alps, providing a route to the West Coast that was an alternative to the Arthur’s Pass road. These men were starting work on the tunnel in 1908. Breakthrough was not achieved until 1918, and the tunnel did not open until 1923.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: 1/2-056630; F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

John Wilson, 'Canterbury places - Porters Pass to Arthur’s Pass', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/10255/building-the-otira-tunnel (accessed 24 July 2019)

Story by John Wilson, reviewed & revised 6 Jul 2015, updated 17 Aug 2015