Story: Rural mythologies

Railway tunnel under construction

Railway tunnel under construction

Construction workers stand at the entrance to a tunnel, which was being constructed on the Midland Railway Line in the early 1890s. Many railway lines in New Zealand were paid for and promoted by the government, as they saw them as essential to the prosperity of rural areas and the maintenance of the rural dream. This line, which was planned to run from Christchurch to the West Coast and on up to Nelson, was begun in 1885 by a private company with the government’s legal backing. However, by the mid 1890s the company had run out of money, and the line was taken over by the government. The Christchurch–West Coast line was not completed until 1923, and the Nelson link was never started.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Albert Percy Godber Collection (PA-Group-00048)
Reference: APG-1530-1/2; 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:

Jock Phillips, 'Rural mythologies - Colonial myth making', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 15 April 2024)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 24 Nov 2008