The NIMT is in length, built to the standard New Zealand rail gauge of . Most of the line is single track with frequent passing loops, with double track existing for most of the distance between Wellington and Waikanae, and Hamilton and Auckland. Around of the line is electrified: 55 km at 1500 V DC between Wellington and Waikanae, and 412 km at 25 kV AC between Palmerston North and Te Rapa in Hamilton. The 34 km between Papakura and Britomart is currently being electrified.
The first section of what became the NIMT opened in 1873. The construction of the line began in 1885, and was completed in 1908 (although it wasn't fully operational until 1909). The line is credited for having been an economic lifeline for the young nation, and for having opened up the centre of the North Island to European settlement and investment.
The North Island Main Trunk has been described as an "engineering miracle",... Read More