Story: Railways

The Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company

Local investors formed the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company in 1881. It carved a route through Wellington’s difficult north-western hills (following the present-day Johnsonville suburban line) and across Manawatū’s flax swamps to link up with the government line at Longburn, south of Palmerston North. This 1885 plan shows how the railway opened up land for closer settlement. It includes towns named after businessmen involved in the company, such as Levin (named after William Hort Levin) and Plimmerton (John Plimmer).

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: MapColl-832.4gme/1885/Acc.2705-01
Ink and wash drawing by A. Falkner

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Neill Atkinson, 'Railways - Private rail lines', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 January 2021)

Story by Neill Atkinson, published 11 Mar 2010, reviewed & revised 11 Mar 2016