Tag Archives: Express train

This Day in the Yesteryear: THE TANGIWAI RAIL DISASTER (1953)


The Tangiwai Rail Disaster (1953)

On December 24, 1953, an overnight express train from Wellington to Auckland, New Zealand, was crossing a rail bridge over the Whangaehu River near Tangiwai when the bridge collapsed, sending the engine and first five carriages into the river. The sixth car teetered on the edge, giving a passersby and a guard time to save passengers before it plummeted into the river. Fortunately, the last five carriages remained on the tracks. What had weakened the bridge just minutes before the train arrived? More…