NZRM Progress Report 2023-08-05: Midland Line

Mapping work has continued with a few new pieces being worked on, particularly in mapping the MRC Co proposed switchback line over Arthurs Pass. These maps are available now on the Volume 7 page and their content has been worked into an update of the main line maps between Arthurs Pass and Otira. This update plus some partly completed maps of Rotomanu showing a small deviation of the main line there, is now available from the Volume 7 page.

The schedule for completing the rest of Volume 7 is currently undetermined. The present commitment will be to try and get the mainline section to Greymouth finished this year. Work scheduling for the branch lines and for the SWL and its branches is uncertain. Other priorities need to be addressed such as the web maps update as it is normally very challenging to schedule time for this part of the project. So how things go from here is uncertain for the rest of 2023 as other work than completing Volume 7 or any other volume is the priority for the next few months. Updates are still needed for parts of the already completed sections between Springfield and Arthurs Pass. A trial has been done to create separate diagram views for stations like Otira where an old station was replaced by a tracked yard, where it is better to display the detail of the old station seperately from the current layout. This will result in multiple diagrams instead of just one of each part and it can already be seen in the updated maps of Otira where a “1905 Diagram” map is included that shows just the station that was first opened in 1900 (and replaced in the early 1920s), as shown below.

The 1905 map of Otira Station. It occupied the area now used by the freight yard sidings. It is possible that the goods shed may have been retained on its original location as part of the new station. Goods shed was removed some time between 1969 and 1982.

The main diagram of the same area of the Otira yards. A main diagram shows every part of a yard that hasn’t been put into its own year-based view. Whereas a composite diagram shows everything. Apart from the goods shed, which in reality should be shown in both maps (little issue to address) the only part in common is the main line, now called the South Main in station limits. The old station was not actually on the main line but in a siding, so the position has been corrected from where it was shown in earlier maps.

Same area of yard in 1969. Note position of goods shed.

Comparison with the yard of the present day.