The most famous engineering feature of the main trunk is the Raurimu Spiral, designed by engineer Robert Holmes. The spiral, which includes two tunnels, three horseshoe curves and a complete circle, was celebrated in this 1929 publicity leaflet.
All aboard! The North Island main trunk railway is 100 years old in 2008. Take a trip back in time to explore the epic construction of the line, the heyday of the steam passenger train and the place of the iconic railway refreshment room in New Zealand life.