Some draught horses accompanied the divisional artillery and transport and supply units to Gallipoli in April 1915 to assist with their work. But the conditions proved unsuitable for horses. Some of those landed remained, but many were not landed or were soon evacuated and returned to Egypt.
Between 1914 and 1916 the New Zealand government acquired more than 10,000 horses to equip the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. They served in German Samoa, Gallipoli, the Middle East and on the Western Front. Of those that survived the war, only four returned home.
New Zealand's worst railway disaster occurred 60 years ago on Christmas Eve 1953, when the Wellington–Auckland night express plunged into the swollen Whangaehu River near Tangiwai. Of the 285 people on board, 151 were killed. The tragedy stunned the world and left a nation in mourning.
A few months after the last steam locomotives had been withdrawn from this country's scheduled rail operations, New Zealand Railways launched a new tourist-oriented steam passenger venture in the South Island.