On Christmas Eve 1953 the Wellington to Auckland night express plunged into the flooded Whangaehu River at Tangiwai, 15 km east of the museum.  The Disaster was, at the time, the world’s eighth-deadliest rail disaster and made headlines around the globe. The nation was stunned. With New Zealand’s population just over two million, many people had a direct relationship with someone involved in the tragedy.

Of the 285 passengers and crew on board, 151 died in what remains New Zealand’s worst railway accident

See Our Diorama and Live Talk on the Tragedy

Here is a brief sample from a talk by Ian Heappy, volunteer curator of the Main Trunk Railway Museum, Ohakune New Zealand. Ian is available to present this talk to visitors most museum open days, on other occasions we play the full version of this video.

Come and see our collection of artifacts, and chat with our knowledgeable volunteers.