A Rail Land Travelling Exhibition

North Island rail network 1930s - Hocken Collections.jpg

Proud to announce that we’ll be teaming up with Phantom and Hocken Collections to create a sort of visual support act for Rail Land: a touring exhibition of enlarged railway ephemera.

What makes this tour a unique performance, from load in to load out, are the inherent limitations. When working around the last public train, or with a valuable charter waiting outside the venue, we’re more restricted by time. There’s also the issue of weight - I can only carry so much on these trains.

So, working with Phantom Billstickers, with research assistance and photography at Hocken Collections, we've created a lightweight, visual support act that can be absorbed in seconds, but will stay with you much longer: eight large reproductions of railway ephemera from the Hocken Collection.

Here is a preview of the first two: maps of the New Zealand Rail system from the 1930s. You’ll notice that this is before the lines to Gisborne and from Christchurch to Picton were completed in 1945 - though the dashed lines suggest the intended final system -including the lines that were never to be. But it’s incredible to see just how extensive the system was - note the branch line to Foxton, the myriad rural branches to places like Fairlie and Waimate in the South Island, and the great Nelson Railway system - looking tantalisingly close to being connected to the rest of the country.

South Island Rail Network 1930s - Hocken Collections.jpg

Where possible, we're also inviting local speakers in each town to talk briefly on a topic of interest. If you would like to submit someone - please let us know at anthonie dot tonnon (at) gmail dot com. To open the first show I’m delighted to announce that Countess Mayhem, the Pirate Queen of Waitati will give a brief talk on a topic of her discretion.

Anthonie Tonnon