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Published on Aug 19, 2011
Early European settlers drove sheep around the shoreline rather than attempt to cross the Rimutaka Range between Wellington and Wairarapa. When a railway was built over the mountains in the 1870s, the steep gradient on the Wairarapa side required Fell engines, which have extra horizontal wheels on a central rail. Fell engines were used on the line until a 9-kilometre tunnel opened in 1955.
Archival audio sourced from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives, http://www.soundarchives.co.nz/. Sound files may not be reused without permission from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives (Reference number sa-t-0229pm).
Roadside Stories are a series of audio guides to places of interest on major road trips in New Zealand. Each guide tells the story of an attraction along the way -- its people, its history, its cultural and natural significance. For more information about Roadside Stories visit http://www.mch.govt.nz/roadside/