150 Years of rail in New Zealand

On 1 December 1863 the first locomotive hauled passenger train operated between Ferrymead and Christchurch. KiwiRail, in partnership with the Canterbury Railway Society, Ferrymead Heritage Park and the Rail Heritage Trust of New Zealand, celebrated the 150th anniversary of rail in New Zealand in 2013.

 

 

    

In 2013 KiwiRail, in partnership with the Canterbury Railway Society, Ferrymead Heritage Park and the Rail Heritage Trust of New Zealand, celebrated the 150th anniversary of rail in New Zealand through the following events:

  • KiwiRail's Exhibition Express visited 12 locations
  • Commemorative Sculpture at Ferrymead
  • Memorabilia
  • Stories of 150 years of New Zealand Rail

KEEPING NZ ON THE MOVE

The theme throughout the celebrations was 'Keeping NZ on the Move'.  This acknowledged the journey rail has taken in New Zealand over the past 150 years and also the need to keep rail on the move for the future.

Rail has made a significant contribution to building New Zealand communities throughout both North and South islands.  

The events held during October-December 2013 enabled New Zealanders, young and old, to learn more about how the railway was built in the 1850-60s, the changes to locomotive engineering over 150 years, and the capability of rail in New Zealand today for businesses moving freight and for passengers wishing to experience our beautiful landscapes in comfort.  There was truly something for everyone.

150th Commemoration Cards

KiwiRail printed a range of Fact Cards to be handed out at the 12 Open Days. These cards highlighted some of the many features of rail in New Zealand.  Although a set of 36 were first produced, the cards became so popular that the set was extended to 76.  The intention to print 150 seemed obvious, however due to costs this was not possible.  Instead, the full set of 150 cards are available here to download.