New Zealand Railway Tunnels

Longest

The longest railway tunnel in New Zealand is the 8879 m long Kaimai tunnel at Apata on the East Coast Main Trunk Line. This tunnel was opened in November 1980 replacing the longer Karangahake Gorge route. Note, however, that some NZ hydro tunnels are longer than this. West portal location map, East portal location map

The second longest railway tunnel in New Zealand is the 8798 m long Rimutaka tunnel between Wellington and the Wairarapa. This tunnel replaced the Rimutaka incline in 1955. West portal location map, East portal location map

The third longest railway tunnel in New Zealand (and the longest railway tunnel in the South Island) is the 8566 m long Otira tunnel through the Southern Alps between Arthurs Pass and Otira. This tunnel is on a continuous 1 in 33 grade and was opened in 1923. East portal location map, West portal location map

The 4th longest railway tunnel in New Zealand (and the longest double-track tunnel in New Zealand) is the 4324 m long Tawa No.2 tunnel between Wellington and Tawa. It was opened in 1935 for goods trains on one line and in 1937 for all traffic. 96kb picture, South portal location map, North portal location map

The 5th longest railway tunnel in New Zealand is the 2989 m long Tikiwhata tunnel between Wairoa and Gisborne opened in 1943. South portal location map, North portal location map

The 6th longest railway tunnel in New Zealand is the 2596 m long Lyttelton tunnel through the Port Hills between Christchurch and Lyttelton opened in 1867. North portal location map, South portal location map

The 7th longest railway tunnel in New Zealand is the 2091 m long Turakina tunnel between Marton and Wanganui opened in 1947. East portal location map, West portal location map

Shortest

The shortest railway tunnel in New Zealand, not constructed by the cut and cover technique, is a 39.83 m long tunnel between Staircase and Avoca on the South Island Midland Line opened in 1906. Location map

The 2nd shortest railway tunnel in New Zealand, not constructed by the cut and cover technique, is a 42.05 m long tunnel at the Woodville end of the Manawatu Gorge opened in 1891. Location map. This tunnel was opened out in 2008.

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