A transportation tunnel under the Hudson River connecting Manhattan and New Jersey was first considered in the 1860s, fueled by New York City's rapidly growing congestion and the inadequacy of existing ferry service to population centers across the river. DeWitt Clinton Haskin, an engineer formerly with the Union Pacific Railroad, started the project in 1874 and subsequently endured an extended lawsuit, several failures of the tunnel wall, and an exhaustion of funds before quitting in 1887 with only 1,600 feet completed.
The Northern Pacific High Line Bridge No. 64, built between 1907 and 1908, has continued to perform yeoman service in the uninterrupted flow of the Nation's commerce. Nearly, 100 years after this bridge officially opened, it still carries 125-ton car unit coal trains, double stack container trains, lumber, and refined products at train speeds of 50 m.p.h.
The North Island Main Trunk Railway permitted overland travel and development of the New Zealand hinterland. Built under challenging conditions and over difficult terrain, all cuts, fills, and tunneling were minimized by careful use of the topography and by innovative engineering.
Over 30 miles south of Taumarunui, the North Island Main Trunk Railway climbs 2,086 feet to the edge of the great Waimarino Plateau. But over the last seven miles, an abrupt increase in altitude of over 700 feet posed an engineering challenge that led to the design of the famed Raurimu Spiral.