Railway events drew crowds in 19th-century New Zealand, as they represented progress and development. The building of new lines was marked by ‘first sod’ and ‘last spike’ ceremonies. Here, people gather as the first sod is turned for the Christchurch–Timaru section of the South Island main trunk line, around 1865.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
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.