Otago Central Railway [2]: Wingatui-Pukerangi

Well the main effort on the Otago Central has naturally started from Wingatui and worked up. Yesterday I spat out the first set of maps for trial and these are now up at the new nzrailmaps Flickr site (www.flickr.com/photos/nzrailmaps). Today’s effort has been to work over them all again and fix numerous issues.

The main issues worked on today are:

  • Location of the junction between Kiwirail and TGR. Originally this was going to be 4 km but I am confident a number of sources put this as being 3.5 km now. But I had to move it about 100 metres further north on the maps.
  • Location of North Taieri crossing loop on the TGR. Which I put at 4 km. See next entry.
  • Location of North Taieri Tanks on the OCR. This I am tentatively marking as a little short of the School Road crossing, which is right at the bottom of the Salisbury bank. It is given by Emerson and Dangerfield as 4.36 km. On their website, Dunedin Railways amalgamate North Taieri and North Taieri Tanks into one location which they give as 4.4 km, but I am satisfied for a number of reasons that they are far enough apart to be marked separately.
  • Location of Wairongoa flag halt. Again this has to be marked as an uncertain location, but a photo in D&E makes it a bit easier to nut out.
  • Bridge numbering. A curve and gradient diagram confirms the location of Bridge 2 being near the start of the TGR. It looks like the three bridges just above Wairongoa would be something like 3, 4 and 4A, but the writing is a bit faded. There is another bridge 4 something just above Salisbury but again I can’t read precisely what so with all these bridges I have had to leave the actual numbers off.
  • Position of Salisbury. Which has been confirmed from a photo as being on a curve, rather than where the hut is today which is on the straight just a little further round. Also a small bridge was put on the map just above the station as the C&G diagram shows there is one there, but I couldn’t make out the number on the diagram.
  • Position of Taioma in 1928 which I decided would be closer to the road crossing aftter looking at the NZMS1 map. 
  • Position of Taioma in 1890 remeasured off the end of the Wingatui Viaduct. There turns out to be a very short straight between two curves and apparently the station was on that straight, although of course I have not been there to look, but according to an older edition of D&E the concrete edging can still be seen there.
  • Added the houses at Mt Allan
  • Marked positions for the station building and stockyards at Mt Allan based on a photo.
  • Confirmed two locations for Little Mt Allan, one of those is the former tanks on the easting side of the of the viaduct, the other is the location from the NZMS1 map, westing of the viaduct. There was apparently a passenger halt which may or may not be the same location as where freight was loaded. 
  • Check location of Christmas Creek by measuring off viaduct.
  • Try to determine where bridge 9A was at Hindon. This apparently went over the railway line somewhere near bridge 9 (the Taieri River bridge) and was used as part of a stock route that also went along the upstream side of the No.9 bridge between 1911 and 1966. This was all the access that was available to the other side of the Taieri River from Hindon until a road bridge was put in in 1966. This same bridge had to be demolished around 1993 when it was undermined by floods and that is when Bridge 9 was converted into road and rail use which it continues as today. Unfortunately the NZMS1 maps do not give any clue as to where bridge 9A was and the writing on the C&G diagram is too hard to make out. It’s possible the bridge went over the cutting at the westing end of the tunnel but I can’t be absolutely sure.
  • Confirm locations and bridge numbers for bridges 11-14. The map had marked bridge 13 as 12 and 12 as 11 while missing out the real 11. Some hard work of measurement found bridge 11 to be just next to bridge 12 so adding one more small bridge and renumbering the others was needed.
  • Locations were put in for Pay Office Creek and Machine Creek which were watering halts between bridges 12 and 13.
  • The location of Deep Stream was confirmed. Arthurs Knob was confirmed and renamed to Arthur’s Knob.
  • A placemark was put on the map for the Notches so the location would be labelled clearly.
  • The phantom bridge between B15 and B16 was removed.
  • Both locations of Flat Stream were checked.
  • Quartz Reef Siding was looked at but not rechecked. Which means I didn’t try remeasuring it from The Reefs which must be how I placed it first time in GE. Looking for details of the mine drew a blank.
  • The location of Barewood Mine was clarified.
  • Pukerangi station building was altered following an examination of a photo in D&E which showed there was an extension at one end (ladies waiting room) that has since been removed.
The above alterations brings the first part of the TGR maps up to the standard of the second part (Pukerangi-Middlemarch). The work on this latter section was done progressively over the past few days once I had obtained aerial photography of this latter section of the route, and in conjunction with the chainage charts, I was able to mark on all the bridges between Pukerangi and Middlemarch. Yesterday I put in all the sidings and facilities at Sutton and Middlemarch and also marked in the station building at Matarae station.
At Middlemarch I have also marked an end of rails. Unusually this is labelled as 40 miles 0 chains based on the chainage charts. I am not confident that I could give this in kilometres without being able to locate the 64 km peg first and since I don’t know where that is I have stuck with 40 miles for now.
Well the next stage is to start working on the rail trail and to achieve the best outcome I am obtaining current LINZ aerial photography for the entire line. This is going to assist with the accurate location of various details along the trail. One benefit is in having the DOC conservation and science notes as well as the chainage charts to locate all of the bridges. So that work will be going along from here.