Christchurch’s First ‘Puffing Billy’ – 5th January 1882

Referred to as a ‘Puffing Billy’ – as it was powered by steam – Christchurch’s first is pictured here, leaving Cathedral Square and heading to the Addington Railway Station – where the Tower Junction shopping centre is now situated. This route through the city was opened on 5 January 1882, though trams had been running in the city since 1876.

Other routes opened during the 1880′s were Christchurch Railway Station via High and Manchester Streets, Papanui Railway Station, Agricultural Show Grounds, Woolston, Heathcote, New Brighton and finally Sumner. The most used lines were Papanui and Sumner.

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