Rugged mountains, dense forest and Māori hostile to the Crown were all impediments to developing the main trunk railway line through the central North Island. Construction went ahead from the 1880s after the Ngāti Maniapoto tribe agreed to open up their lands to the railway. An impressive series of viaducts was built across ravines, with workers based at Mangaweka – also the site of a major viaduct.
Listen to a Roadside Story about Ngāti Maniapoto, the Mangaweka viaduct and the main trunk line. Roadside Stories is a series of audio guides to places around New Zealand.
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