Through the Alps – The Otira Railway Tunnel

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The Otira Railway Tunnel

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Through the Alps – The Otira Railway Tunnel. Authors: Bruce Shalders, Chris Stewart, Diane Gordon-Burns

The Southern Alps, which run the length of New Zealand’s South Island, form a formidable barrier between the east and west coasts of the island. The Otira Tunnel, more than 8.5 kilometres long, provides the only rail link between the two coasts. When it was opened on 4th August 1923 the tunnel was hailed as one of New Zealand’s greatest engineering achievements. The country boasted proudly that it was the longest tunnel in what was then the British Empire. The tunnel had taken 15 years to build. The dramatic story of its construction and intriguing histories of the two settlements, Otira and Artur’s Pass, which are at each end of the ‘hole in the hill’ are told in this book.

The book was published to mark the tunnel’s centenary.