facebook   twitter   mail  

The Gisborne Photo News



Pictures From The Past

This month's pictures from the past come from the extensive collection of railway photographs taken by Bob Hepburn.

AA and WA locomotives are seen hauling the goods train out of Waikokopu.

One of the major construction jobs on the new line was the Kopuawhara viaduct, 25 miles south of Gisborne. Five hundred and thirty feet long, and 130 feet high, the viaduct has a central arch span of 180 feet. It was built of concrete because of the wartime shortage of steel. The viaduct is situated between two tunnels so that passengers get but a brief glimpse of it.

Bob Hepburn says that tunnel No.19 (the Tikiwhata) on this section of the line is the third longest tunnel in the British Commonwealth (after the Rimutaka and Otira tunnels). Tikiwhata is 1 mile, 68 chains, 60 links long.


This picture goes back 22 years to the opening of the Napier-Gisborne railway, and shows the first north-bound train to use the line. (The first train over the tracks was a south-bound passenger train the same day).


A quick snap taken while crossing the viaduct shows an interesting shadow pattern on the river-bed far below.