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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 2 (June, 1926)


A correspondent, enclosing the following poem, writes:—“Your fine appreciation of the work done by the bridge gangs on No. 1 Bridge, Blackball, recalls to my mind a similar incident in the winter of 1903, when a high embankment near the Upper Hutt “went west” down the gully in a long yellow stream of slurry extending for half a mile.

A great stretch of track hung in mid-air and the then important traffic to the Wairarapa and Napier was completely blocked. Gangs and material were collected from far and near for a race with time, and for twelve days and nights in incessant rain the work of building, what is now Bridge No. 26, went on. The following poem, written at the time by Will Lawson, senses the spirit, and I might say the romance of railroading, and it may be of interest to our readers.”