The King Country part of the main trunk line slowly proceeded section by section from north to south. It crossed the Pūniu River in 1885 and reached Ōtorohanga and Te Kūiti in 1887. Then economic depression and a change in government slowed its progress – it did not reach Taumarunui until 1903. The Stratford–Ōkahukura line was built between 1901 and 1932.
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