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The North Island main trunk line

All aboard! The North Island main trunk railway was 100 years old in 2008. Take a trip back in time to explore the epic story of its construction, the heyday of the steam passenger train and the place of the iconic railway refreshment room in New Zealand life. Read the full article

Page 5 - Refreshments

Refreshments are an essential and often talked about part of any train

Town 85 kilometres south of Te Kūiti. The Whanganui and Ōngarue rivers meet at Taumarunui. They were major transport routes for Māori, and linked Whanganui, Waikato and Taupō. The Māori settlement of Taumarunui was located at the junction. In 1903 the railway line and Whanganui River-based transport were extended to Taumarunui, and the settlement was proclaimed a native township so town sections could be leased to Pākehā settlers. Rail and river transport combined with sawmilling and farming in the rural hinterland facilitated Taumarunui’s growth.
Meaning of place name
Taumaru: screen; nui: large. The story behind the name is that when the chief Pehi Turoa was dying he asked that a screen be erected to shade him from the sun. He died before the work was completed, with the words 'taumaru nui' on his lips.