Story: Railway accidents

Lahar warning system

Lahar warning system

Following the 1953 Tangiwai railway disaster, the New Zealand Railways Department installed a warning tower in the Whangaehu River. This device could gauge flow depth, and send a warning 15 minutes before a lahar reached the railway bridge 11 kilometres downstream. The impact of a lahar on the river can be seen in these photographs of the tower in normal (top) and flood conditions.

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Railway accidents - Major railway disasters', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 30 June 2022)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 11 Mar 2010