Construction workers stand at the entrance to a tunnel, which was being constructed on the Midland Railway Line in the early 1890s. Many railway lines in New Zealand were paid for and promoted by the government, as they saw them as essential to the prosperity of rural areas and the maintenance of the rural dream. This line, which was planned to run from Christchurch to the West Coast and on up to Nelson, was begun in 1885 by a private company with the government’s legal backing. However, by the mid 1890s the company had run out of money, and the line was taken over by the government. The Christchurch–West Coast line was not completed until 1923, and the Nelson link was never started.
Using this item
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.