"A vivid story of ingenuity and hard slog, crooks and dreamers, bootleggers and love. In the early 1900s, the race was on to complete the railroad being cut through steep mountainsides and across deep gullies to join the two ends of the Main Trunk Line. Regardless of the impassable landscape and risky heights, the engineers, chainmen, plate-layers, navvies and draught horses had to work on through horrendous weather to meet the impossible deadline. Drawn to the remote but growing settlements of the workers' tents, boarding and cookhouses came miners from Denniston, young men fresh off the boat, sly-groggers, temperance campaigners, local Maori, preachers and a varied assortment of people after a new life or a quick buck. It would take more than a leap of faith to bind this disparate group into an efficient workforce . . ."