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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 7 (December 1, 1932)


Thousands of settlers from the country skirting the new Stratford-Main Trunk railway link gathered to witness the ceremonies connected with the official opening of the line on 7th November. Fully 3,000 people thronged the hill overlooking the line at Heao, at the point where the sections from Stratford and the Main Trunk end have met after over thirty years' work, and it was here that the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. G. W. Forbes, drove the last spike amid gala scenes.

Special trains left Taranaki and Main Trunk junctions at an early hour in the morning. Taumarunui was astir soon after daylight to welcome the Parliamentary party, consisting of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Public Works, the Rt. Hon. J. G. Coates; the Minister of Industries and Commerce, the Hon. R. Masters; the Postmaster-General, the Hon. A. Hamilton: the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. H. E. Holland and many members of both Houses of Parliament who had come from Wellington in three special cars attached to the “Limited” express, and which were detached at a siding.