Story: City history and people

Wellington–Manawatū railway

By the 1870s it was clear that Wellington’s future as a trading centre rested on farming. A government-sponsored railway line to Wairarapa was completed in 1878, but a government scheme to build a railway to Manawatū stalled due to rising costs. Several Wellington businessmen took over the project, which was completed in 1886. This 1885 plan, drawn by the railway’s promoters, shows the route. The line’s completion enabled Wellington to channel farm produce through its port and dominate lower North Island trade.

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:

David Thorns and Ben Schrader, 'City history and people - Towns to cities', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 August 2022)

Story by David Thorns and Ben Schrader, published 11 Mar 2010