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The Midland Railway, officially from the Rolleston Junction to Stillwater Junction; but usually seen as running from Christchurch to Greymouth, is one of the most spectacular and scenic in the world with its chain of 19 tunnels, one of which the Otira tunnel is one of the longest in the world.

The line is also known for its many viaducts, where here again afford great scenery and engineering feats of the 1930ís. The line at one stage was threatened with closure, but these days is a very profitable piece of New Zealand rail network running daily 8 coal trains, 2 Ė 3 freight trains and a scenic train. About to start is a gold train to bring gold ore concentrate from Reefton to Palmerston for processing.

Complementing the Midland Rail is The Great Alpine Highway SH73 also presenting great views of the Southern Alps which continually change with the seasons. If one has the time there are many sections of the road used in the coaching days to walk and explore.

Midland Rail has seen many changes since it was officially opened with the completion of the Otira Tunnel in 1923. Steam engines have been and gone as has the electrification of the line at Otira and Arthurís Pass. Diesel power being currently favoured, but there are talks about electrification again.

History of the Midland Line

The Midland Railway Line from Rolleston to Stillwater started 1870 ...

History of Steam Travel

The romance of steam ...

History of the Springfield Area

Farming, coal, and the rails ...

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