The last few days have been spent working in one single Gimp project containing the tiles for all the stations on the Methven Branch, together. At the same time, lists of NZR files for every station have been collated to research at Christchurch Archives as the hoped for set of plans of the station layouts has not materialised. At this moment of writing I have just finished the mosaics for every station except Rakaia, which is properly a main line junction station, not on the branch itself, but for which nevertheless I have aerial photos for three eras, 1942, 1974 and 1984, and which I will shortly assemble.
This is a screenshot for the Gimp project with all the tiles in one file. Rakaia, yet to be completed, is lower right, with one of its aerials prominently visible more or less above it.
The Methven Branch was one of the few privately constructed railways in NZ and like most of them unsuccessful (the Wellington and Manawatu Railway was the only successful one). It is easy to see why when looking at the geography of the line; except for the junction and terminus, the stations along the line are tiny localities that would have struggled to produce enough freight to pay their way, and the line was only privately run for three or four years before it was bought out by the government.
Although I have yet to conclude the layouts for any of the stations, most of the intermediate sites were almost identical with road devations, that in most cases have since closure been reverted, one of the reasons why it is difficult to locate many remains today. Methven has somewhat more remnants, including the “Staveley Lime” fertiliser depot shown below (which has the name of Kempthorne Prosser painted on its roof); the lime company has been out of business for decades.