A special memorial, unveiled for two special heroes of the Tangiwai disaster.

Over a thousand people gathered for the ceremony. Among them, the families of the two heroes - Charles Parker and Lance Redman.

The two engineman saved the lives of 134 people during New Zealand's worst rail disaster.

Reon Parker says he's incredibly proud of his grandfather's actions.


"Like any good captain, he went down with his ship and he certainly did he did everything in his upmost to shut the train down and slow it down. It even brings tingles over my body now talking about it," says Mr Parker.

Lance Redman's daughters and extended family attended the service today, laying wreaths in commemoration of the two men.

"Our father has a final resting place, and our family has closure, so thank you very much," says Valerie Merwood, Lance Redman's daughter.

Reon Parker says it's staggering to meet so many people that wouldn't have been born if it wasn't for his grandfather.

"Through his actions, sanding the tracks, shutting down all the valves, all the handles, everything to slow it right down; those carriages remained on the railway line," says Mr Parker.

151 people lost their lives in the Tangiwai disasters, amongst them two brave men who through their selfless actions, prevented the toll being so much higher.

Made with funding from