Author(s): Stephen and Mathew Wright
Recognised today as one of the world's outstanding rail journeys, the Midland Line has a history and geography unlike any other. Conceived as far back as 1860, the line forged a path through the South Island's great mountainous divide - a hard-won achievement that saw the passage of two generations. The line enjoyed a golden era from the 1920s until the 1960s, after which there was a gradual decline, followed by an extended period of uncertainty as to the line's future. This book brings to life the memories of eight people who experienced the Midland Line first-hand - either in work, travel or in day-to-day living. They are: the late Tom Ferguson, Archie Brown, Ruth Naughton, Doreen Dudley, Jimmy Dillon, Bid Elson, Malcolm Innes and Don Keen. These memories mostly relate to the Springfield to Otira section of the line, from the 1920s onwards. To supplement this, there is a detailed overview of the line's history, together with a 53-page photo gallery covering the railway's construction period and later years. In addition, several ballads have been included to add extra flavour. As a social, regional and pictorial history, this book has a great deal to offer the reader. It will appeal to railway enthusiasts, as well as those who enjoy stories of a bygone era. For those travelling on the Midland Line today, Journey to the Pass: Memories of the Midland Line will be a great companion book, enhancing their appreciation of this uniquely special railway line.