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.
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