Tangiwa Train

The Tangiwa, train disaster was a sad coincidence of events:


Read about click Murphys Law This Year.doc 2007 below.


It’s been a year I’d like to forget, but I know in the future it’s a time I want to remember well.  Nothing at all seems to have gone the way I had planned, and everything that could go wrong did go wrong.  Just like Murphy’s Law:

 If something can go wrong, it will!!!


Have you ever had a real bad day where nothing seems to go right?  Like when you are trying to sing but the teacher gets you in a head lock and takes you outside? Or when you make a terrible mistake and you don’t know what to do?  Or when you get older and your doctor tells you, “I am sorry, you have a problem and it’s going to get worse, but we can not help you.”


It’s times like these that we say “the pooh’s hit the fan!”.  You feel like you’re dead….but….but….you can still breathe….you are still alive and there is one thing you can do.  Actually there are many things you can do, but there is one super thing you can do^-^.


“Make an opportunity out of an obstacle!!”.  Some people say that in life, in everything there is a balance between bad & good things.  So when an extra-ordinarily bad thing happens, there is a chance that something extra-ordinarily good may also happen. 

Just a chance.


You have a chance for something extra-ordinary from something extra-ordinary.  Find it.


In New Zealand in 1953, there was a huge celebration when Sir Edmund Hillary climbed Mount Everest in the Himalayas.  It was Christmas Eve, and many families, and Dads coming home from business were travelling on the Silver Fern train from Wellington to Auckland.  The train was packed with presents & excitement. 


Unfortunately there was also a terrible terrible disaster.  New Zealand’s MountRuapehu erupted without warning.  The mountain was covered in snow.  The crater at the top of the mountain was filled with millions of litres of hot acidic water.  During the eruption the edge of the lake was burst and an un-imaginable amount of water rushed down the mountain into the deep snow.  The snow covered mountainside instantaneously melted.  A lahar.  The lahar rushed down the mountain melting more and more snow as it went.  It sucked up a billion tones of debris, ice, rocks, dirt and trees as it gushed down, down down.


The atmosphere in the train was electric, people were singing Christmas Carols and dancing, the cabin windows vibrated with the noise. “Soon they would see their loved ones…” they thought.


On the mountain, it was different. 

Nothing was alive.  An enormous weight of liquid filled with terror rocketed toward the Tangiwai stream.  Tangiwai is Maori language and means Weeping Waters.


A man called ‘The Digger-man’  standing was near the stream.  He was screaming something to the train, but nobody could hear because there was another noise much louder. These days my Dad has a big 20ton digger, which is real old, bit still goes.  I was surprised a couple of years ago when The Digger-man came to fix Dad’s digger.  He drove 450km, and carried all his tools in his luxury Volvo,  and …..he was 89years old!!! – he is extra-ordinary



Ahead of the train lay the Tangiwai bridge.  285 passengers could not have imagined what would happen next.  Neither could a nation or Visiting Queen Elizabeth about to celebrate Christmas.  There had been no rain, so there was no need to worry about risk of a flood for the train driver.  Suddenly, just before the train reached the bridge it happened.  A wall of mud 6 metres high hit.  The driver braked but he was too late.


There were 9 carriages and an engine.  Within an instant the engine and 5carriages were gone, vanished into the mysterious liquid.  The 6th carriage balanced on the edge for a few moments allowing all of the passengers except 1 to jump into the remaining 3 carriages.  The Digger-man tried to help people from the stream.  Slowly the water & mud level went down.  There was peace.  The Digger-man + 134 people survived.

How can you make an opportunity from this?




















































最近家のお父さんが20トンの掘削機(くっさく き)を持つようになりました。けっこう古いでもまだ動いています。数年前、「掘削機男」が父さんの掘削機を直すに来て、僕はちょっとビックリした。彼は450キロを運転して、自分の道具を全部持って、高級車ボルボに乗って、。。。89歳の生きている化石だったよ。普通では無い。