Since I have discovered that between them, LINZ and Canterbury Maps have excellent contemporary aerial coverage of the MSL, I have taken the opportunity to map in some of the stations that I had already covered in previous posts.
Fairton Freezing Works is immediately north of Ashburton. The railway station was first known as the Canterbury Frozen Meat siding in 1883, then in 1889 changed its name to Fairfield. In 1982 it was changed again to Fairton on the closure of the station to public traffic. CFM eventually was taken over by PPCS which merged with Richmond Meats, eventually assuming a new name, Silver Fern Farms. It is rumoured the Fairton Works may be on the chopping block as SFF has been taken over by a Chinese company.
The map shows only some of the buildings and was drawn from a 1962 Whites Aviation aerial photo and current aerial coverage which still shows many of the sidings in place although not all used. The works had its own locomotives at various times and two of them are now at the Plains Railway museum at Tinwald. Steam locomotive A 64 was used at the works until 1962 and was then replaced by a Ruston 48DS diesel shunter which also moved to Plains when the works no longer needed it, conditional on being returned if needed.
The above map shows the state of the sidings rather than whether they are actually used and it is quite possible that the works have not used the sidings for many years, however it is known that the loop next to the mainline and its backshunts still appear as sidings on Kiwirail’s GIS maps and the main sidings off these into the works itself (shown in black) are still connected to the loop.
Immediately north of Ashburton are two sidings: Cold Storage and the Maltworks. The usage of Cold Storage, which was just a single track directly off the main line, is unclear, but the Maltworks, off identical configuration, is in regular operation.
These four maps show Ashburton Station, including the old turntable and trolley shed, and the footbridge that used to be north of the station (the current bridge is to the south). It appears both footbridges were in place in the 1940s, and it is unclear when the northernmost one was removed. It is known at the south end the yard continued past Burnett St where the crossing has since been closed, but its full extent is not shown on these maps.
Four maps of Tinwald and the Plains Railway. The Industrial Line served what was possibly a Ravensdown depot next door to the Plains. The museum site in addition to its present buildings and tracks also formerly had a siding to the Vintage Car museum which was later lifted. The site is somewhat unusual in that a shed was built directly over the existing branch line track (the Springburn Branch).
Hinds station which still has the loop and part of the siding in place but overgrown.
Temuka with the sheds, which are owned by Temuka Transport which has the haulage contract for Fonterra.