END OF STEAM TRAINS IN NZ

On the 25th October 1971, the South Island Limited Express steamed its way for the last time from Christchurch to Dunedin. It marked the end of 108 years of steam powered train services in New Zealand.

The first public rail service clattered its way between Ferrymead and Christchurch in 1863. From the 1870s, under the encouragement of Premier Julius Vogel, a nationwide network of railway construction was begun to link major towns following the abolition of the provinces. The planned railways would also open up the inland areas for farming and settlement. Eventually 4,128km (2,565miles) of railway tracks were laid around both islands. read more