Project DIary 2019-10-26: Christchurch Maps

It’s been another busy week of gathering research information and a lot of work pulling out map tiles. As noted in previous posts, we spend a lot of time each week, currently around 6 hours, researching all the stations in the Greater Christchurch area. This will involve viewing around 50 files a week and copying mainly track diagrams from them in order to be able to label everything on the maps properly. We have spent most of the time actually just gathering the information and very little lately has been put into maps because the process of creating the historic mosaics and getting map tiles out of them is relatively time intensive. 
So at the moment things appear to progress slowly while the main focus is in these phases of gathering information and investing a lot of work into creating the historical map background images to show the various locations around the Greater Christchurch railway network. This week’s research had a look at Linwood Station which was a passenger station on the MSL between Christchurch and Lyttelton. It was located between Linwood Loco Depot and the Wilsons Road crossing and it served exclusively suburban passenger traffic. Like the other suburban stations on the “Port Line”, Linwood closed in the early 1970s when the commuter trains to Lyttelton ceased operating, and there is practically no trace of it to be found today. However, NZ Railways Corporation still owns the entire Linwood site that it occupied until the mid 2010s and which is now leased to a number of entities. 
We also took a look at the early history of Linwood Loco, but aren’t specifically interested in the entire history of that site, and haven’t yet examined all of the records relating specifically to Linwood Loco. We also took a look at Opawa Station, which was the next stop up the line from Linwood and was also passenger specific. Ashley is another small station near Rangiora on the Main North Line and it was between those two stations that a couple of minor realignments of the MNL took place in the 1960s and 1970s relating to the replacement of two bridges, one of which is a major structure crossing the Ashley River. Ashley Station closed in the early 1960s partly as a consequence of the construction of the Ashley Bridge deviation but a siding is still in place for the nearby Canterbury Timber Products factory although disused for some years. Addington Station and also the Way and Works “Plant Zone” and the Signals Depot have been researched and we are currently looking at the numerous private sidings around Addington, including the NZ International Exhibition of 1906 siding which was laid from Riccarton Station across Hagley Park, and the lengthy Fletchers Siding also known as “The Alley” which served many industries and ran from Addington to nearly Riccarton Road.
Map tile production this week has taken in Heathcote and Ferrymead, so that we now have full sets of tiles covering 1940, 1950, 1961, 1970, 1973, 1976, 1985, 1995, 2000, and we also have the Linz aerial coverage for the 2000s, 2015 and some additional Canterbury Maps coverage for updating parts of Heathcote and Ferrymead to 2019. Normally for a smaller station like Heathcote we wouldn’t cover such a large number of generations, however the interest for the widest range of coverage is more geared to Ferrymead, which was in significant development from the mid 1960s to the mid 1980s. Now having these full sets of maps will enable work to go ahead particularly with a high priority for Ferrymead; given that we already recently got full map sets for Lyttelton but have done very little with them so far, our actual resources (time) for map drawing itself are a bit scarce at the moment.
A partially completed map of the Ferrymead Railway Moorhouse Village site in relation to the Main South Line in 2019.
The Ferrymead site in 1961, when it was still a dairy farm.