When, in late October, people and machines reach epic speeds on one of Tararua's steepest streets, one Matamau machine could be the little engine that could.

The annual trolley derby at Pahiatua on Saturday, October 29, attracts racers and brave drivers from Eketahuna to Norsewood and this year a not-so-little 4x4x2 locomotive is hoping to get a real head of steam on the long course and take on all-comers.

Built by Alan Holmes of Matamau, the loco will be driven by Jack McNicol.

"I last built a trolley 65 years ago," Mr Holmes told the Dannevirke News. "All the kids back then tried to copy it and just like today's edition, it was without success."


Mr Holmes' wife Eileen said her husband had been out in his shed building the engine for "some time".

And if Lion 6890 makes it safely down Pahiatua's steepest street, Mr Holmes plans to auction it online for charity.

Entry packs for the event are available from trolleyderby@inspire.net.nz. These packs contain the rules, sponsor and donation sheets and entry form.
Entries will close on October 15.