So we have spent the past few days working to make up maps for the part of the Midland Line that is mostly a branch off the main line, the branch that goes to Hokitika (Hokitika Line) and which was formerly the Ross Branch that carried on past Hokitika to Ross.
From Ross there was a tramway built in 1919 by Stuart & Chapman to Kakapotahi and further still into Ianthe State Forest and this continued to operate until 1959. This supplied the logs to the sawmill at Ross and this mill with its own network of private sidings connected to the railway provided a lot of the traffic that was conducted at Ross. The mill did continue to operate for some years after the tramway closed as logs could be brought by road and other companies also brought timber to Ross for loading.
There was also a sawmill and settlement at Ruatapu, between Hokitika and Ross, and this still operates to some extent today. We haven’t got anything for maps on Ruatapu at this stage. What we have got south of Hokitika is just Ross and a bit of the tramway further south, which at one stage was considered to become an extension of the railway. We have located all the stuff we copied from ANZ’s files earlier this year to use for map drawing and with a limited number of lower quality aerial photos and the research information we can draw maps of Ross and parts of the tramway.
Greymouth-Hokitika is more promising and after looking at what can be seen on aerial photos from 1963, which is specifically for State Highway 6, we can draw in maps of Kumara and Arahura.
We also have good quality coverage of Greymouth (1945) and Hokitika (1963) that is being worked on and the maps of Hokitika itself are virtually complete and will be published soon. Greymouth itself is going to take the longest because research is needed which hasn’t been completed yet and maybe not until early next year. However here are some maps of Elmer Lane taken in 1945, 1988 and 2016.