Rail in the South Waikato

The arrival of the refrigerated ship Dunedin in London in 1882 , ninety eight days after departing Port Chalmers with a cargo of 5000 frozen mutton carcases heralded the new age of technology.

Rail links improved transportation in both the North and South Island. Farmers were now able to transport meat, and other produce to the country's ports where they could be shipped to more profitable overseas markets such as the UK.

The Thames Valley & Rotorua Railway Co. commenced work in the Waikato in the late 1880's, reaching Tirau on the 8th March 1886 and Lichfield, south of Putaruru, on the 21st of June. A line from Putaruru to Rotorua was started in 1889 and completed in December 1894.