The Fell Locomotive Museum houses H199, the only locomotive of its type in the world, and Fell brake-van F210. H199 is one of six engines designed for use on New Zealand’s famous Rimutaka Incline. The locomotives climbed gradients as steep as 1 in 13 (7.7%) on the 3-mile (4.8km) railway between the settlements of Cross Creek and Summit in the South Wairarapa. Englishman John Barraclough Fell’s method of four grip wheels on a raised centre rail was used for added traction, with the centre rail also used for braking. H 199 was built in Bristol, England, in 1875 and F210 in New Zealand Railways’ workshops at Petone, Lower Hutt, in 1898.
The fascinating history of the Rimutaka Incline and its Fell locomotives is recalled with photographs, models, memorabilia, films and the spectacular audio-visual presentation “Rimutaka 1949”. Step back in time and experience a unique aspect of New Zealand’s railway heritage!
From humble beginnings, the Fell Locomotive Museum has developed into a world renowned tourist attraction. It hosts thousands of railway enthusiasts and visitors from all over the world, keen to appreciate the engineering, technology and social history of a unique railway.
In 1990, the Fell Locomotive Museum received from the National Federation of Rail Societies the prestigious A & G Price Award for the best locomotive restoration. In 1998, the Museum won the Rolling Stock Award for the restoration of Fell brake-van F210.
Winner of the Telecom Wellington Tourism Awards “Best Heritage Experience” award in 1995, the Fell Locomotive Museum is only an hour’s drive north of Wellington city across the scenic Rimutaka Range.