Story: Railways

The Raurimu spiral

In the final push to close the gap in the North Island main trunk line, the railway had reached Taumarunui by 1904. To the south lay the imposing ascent onto the Waimarino plateau. After much difficulty, civil engineer Robert Holmes came up with a remarkable answer. He designed the Raurimu spiral, which included two tunnels, three horseshoe curves and a complete circle. This 1929 fold-out brochure, produced by the New Zealand Railways Publicity Branch, shows an aerial view of the spiral (centre panel). The side panels show the routes to the spiral from Auckland and Wellington.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: Eph-B-RAIL-1930-01-front

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 - Main trunk lines', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/zoomify/21383/the-raurimu-spiral (accessed 18 August 2019)

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