NZRM Project Releases New Zealand Rail Maps Volume 6 (Wairarapa Line)

Good morning. This post is to announce we have released New Zealand Rail Maps Volume 6. Volume 6 is hosted on our new website at the address below.

Volume 6 consists of 8 map sets, each of which contains diagram and aerial maps, with multiple generations of aerial maps possible. The number of maps totals 1414, which is the largest volume produced to date. The map sets cover the following route sections:

  • Main Line – the main line of the Wairarapa Line today, from Wellington to Woodville.
  • Rimutaka Incline Section – former mainline section of the Wairarapa Line between Upper Hutt and Featherston, via the Rimutaka Incline. Closed 1955 when replaced by the Rimutaka Deviation of the current main line.
  • Western Hutt Section – former mainline section of the Wairarapa Line between Petone and Manor Park., via Lower Hutt and Melling. The section from Petone to Melling is today the Melling Branch, whilst the section from Melling to Manor Park was closed in 1954 when replaced by the Hutt Valley deviation of the current main line.
  • Silver Stream Section – former mainline section of the Wairarapa Line between Manor Park and Silverstream, via Silverstream Bridge. Closed 1954 when replaced by a realignment with a new bridge 200 metres upstream. Most of the route has been re-opened as the Silver Stream Railway heritage railway since the 1980s.
  • Hutt Park Railway – former private branch line from the Wairarapa Line at Petone for race trains to Hutt Park. Opened 1885, closed in the 1910s when races were moved to Trentham. A part remained in use for siding access to the local freezing works but has closed in the past 30 years.
  • Gracefield Branch – branch line from the Wairarapa Line at Woburn. Opened 1929 to give access to the new Hutt Railway Workshops, and subsequently extended to Seaview to connect industrial sidings to a number of premises there.  A station at Hutt Park served race trains in the mid 20th century. The line now exclusively serves Hutt Locomotive Centre, the Gracefield yard and industrial siding connections having been closed in 2002.
  • Greytown Branch – opened in 1880, this short 5 km line was provided as a political promise when Greytown was excluded from the route of the Wairarapa Line due to engineering issues. It was closed in 1953.
  • Featherston Camp Siding – opened 1915 for the Featherston Army Camp in World War 1. Closed 1927. Although a portion of the former site was re-used in World War 2, the siding was not reinstated.

The maps are drawn typically at scales from 1:1000 to 1:9000 and are optimised for use on handheld devices. They can be used in this fashion online from the website, or the complete map sets or individual maps can be downloaded free of charge. Content is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution- ShareAlike. Maps incorporate the NZRM Project’s original railway specific content, and aerial photography and additional data layers produced by Land Information New Zealand.

The maps are authored with QGIS, aerial photo digitisation and georeferencing is performed with Gimp. The Project’s computers run Debian GNU/Linux, so all of our work is carried out with Free and Open Source Software.

Volume 6 may be viewed at our maps web site as below: