Travel through the hinterland of Taranaki in the 1890s was fraught with difficulty. The road out to the settlement of Whangamomona and beyond was a quagmire of mud in winter, and a rough, rutted track in summer.
Work on the railroad began in 1901; the most direct route was from Stratford through Whangamomona, joining with the Main Trunk line at Okahukura near Taumaranui.
The completion of the route was celebrated with a dinner at Stratford on 7 November 1932.
The first train through the line from Stratford to Taumaranui was on 13 December 1932. Flooding prevented the "official" opening until a year later when the Auckland to New Plymouth express made its first run. Ref: ARC2004.1768
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