Otago Central Railway [57B]: Otago Central / Taieri Gorge Railway Bridge 9A – 16 miles 23 chains

In 1911 NZR signed a lease agreement with the Taieri County Council for the construction of a stock walk on the east side of Bridge 9 (Taieri River) and the erection of overhead stockbridge Bridge 9A at 75 yards north of Bridge 9 as shown in the left of this map.

In 1964 the lease ended and was replaced by a level crossing right established across the Hindon Railway Station yard as seen to the right of this picture. The footway and overhead bridge were removed subsequently. The need for these structures ceased at the time because a new road bridge was built over the Taieri River as seen in the middle of this map.
Sometime in the mid 1990s the road bridge was undermined in a flood and the Dunedin City Council which has a majority shareholding in the Taieri Gorge Railway and is also the current local authority for the Hindon area, decided the best outcome would be to convert Bridge 9 to a combined structure with a single shared deck for both road and rail traffic. The old road bridge was removed after new connecting roads were built to either end of Bridge 9 and the road across Hindon railway yard was closed.

The improved road access to Hindon in the 1960s was instrumental in closure of the siding at Christmas Creek on the south side of Bridge 9. Many small stations in the Taieri Gorge were largely maintained as the railway provided the only form of transport until comparitively recent times and it is somewhat surprising Bridge 9 was not made a combined structure from the outset. On the other hand, the TCC would have had to pay NZR considerably more maintaining the deck of a combined bridge than the 15 pounds they paid annually for the stock walk and overhead bridge. Hence it may well have been decided that this was a more economical solution but this is pure speculation on my part.

Little Mt Allan is another example, only one or two farmers used it, which was not enough traffic to have a siding put in, but with no other access to the area, wagons were loaded or unloaded by trains stopping on the main line by special arrangement. Taioma is another example, the access issues here were solved by moving the station closer to Wingatui where it was more accessible for the sole farmer of the area, Mr G Webb.