KiwiRail is celebrating 150 years of service in New Zealand.
The first passenger train journey, between central Christchurch and Ferrymead, took place on 1 December 1863.
To celebrate a memorial sculpture, paid by KiwiRail, was unveiled on Sunday at Ferrymead Heritage Park in Christchurch.
The sculpture will eventually become the entrance to the National Railway Museum when that attraction is built.
KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn said constructing the railways was a vital part of building New Zealand economically and culturally.
Working in the railways has been passed down from one generation to the next, he said, and villages of railway homes were created as part of that culture.
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