Weta Workshop’s mastery is to come to horrifying life in a TV drama depicting the 1953 Tangiwai train disaster.

The frightening scene, when the train, with 285 people on board, plunges into a swollen river just minutes after a volcanic lahar knocks out the rail bridge, was recreated in one-sixth scale at Makara, west of Wellington.

Keen train buff and Weta founder Sir Richard Taylor oversaw the creation of a finely detailed scale replica of the original Ka Class steam locomotive and 11 carriages, complete with lights, blinds and dolls. The scene, shot over two nights last December, posed a series of challenges – the biggest of which was the low $3 million budget, director Charlie Haskell said. More..