North Auckland Line [3A]: Okaihau Branch 1 – Otiria

The Okaihau Branch is something I have blogged about before. This is the first of four posts covering the junction at Otiria, the ballast pit at Kawiti, the only major intermediate freight station at Kaikohe and the terminus at Okaihau. Otiria is where the North Auckland Line effectively ends at the present time, with a branch going west to Okaihau (originally called the Kaikohe Branch) and (as originally designated) the NAL turning from the north to the east to get to Kawakawa and on to Opua. Both of these stubs closed in the 1980s, but the Kawakawa-Opua section has become the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway. On the other hand the Okaihau Branch was lifted, but the corridor remains in NZRC ownership in case a scenario exists where it might be reinstated in the future.

 Most of what has changed at Otiria can be summed up in buildings: the removal of the station and some of the others, while the loading shelter has increased in size. There were also some houses which are long gone. The yard itself is practically the same as it was in 1971 with just one siding extended and the log loading area added off what was the start of the Okaihau Branch.