Story: Railways

Building a railway tunnel

Building a railway tunnel

Construction workers pose at the entrance of a tunnel being built on the Midland railway line in the early 1890s. The New Zealand Midland Railway Company was formed in London in 1886 to link Canterbury with the West Coast and Nelson. In 1894 only 120 kilometres of railway had been completed, at a cost of £1.3 million. The government took over, sparking a bitter legal battle and further delay. The Midland line was finally completed in 1923 with the opening of the Ōtira tunnel.

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:

Neill Atkinson, 'Railways - Private rail lines', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 January 2021)

Story by Neill Atkinson, published 11 Mar 2010, reviewed & revised 11 Mar 2016