Tangiwai means ‘weeping waters’, and the name seemed sadly apt on Christmas Eve 1953, when a lahar (volcanic mud flow) partly destroyed the railway bridge over the Tangiwai River. The Wellington–Auckland passenger express plunged into the river, killing 151 people, in New Zealand’s worst rail disaster.
Listen to a Roadside Story about the Tangiwai disaster. Roadside Stories is a series of audio guides to places around New Zealand.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.
Archival audio sourced from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives. Sound files may not be reused without permission from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives (ID56 D355.2 Tangiwai rail disaster, 1953-12-24).