Remnants of the old East Coast Main Trunk Railway

As Google Earth coverage keeps getting better, we keep discovering more about the geography of New Zealand, with one of my interests being former railway lines. There are still some areas of the North Island that use old Landsat low res coverage, I hope they will get some Cnes/Spot coverage soon. In a former life I was an avid railfan and drew maps of nearly every railway line in NZ, which are now to be found on Google Maps. Today I just happened to load up the map of the old East Coast Main Trunk line, and have had a look at some of this former route. I have got absolutely no intention of keeping these maps up to date in a major form as this requires many hours of work and I am disinclined to do any research, one of the great attractions of drawing the maps in the first place was that I did all the work at home on my computer and didn’t have to go anywhere else. However I have just chosen to pull up the old ECMT map because of the improvements and it has got a small makeover today, because some of the old bridges can now be seen in medium-high resolution coverage recently added. It is equally as clear that some locations that I thought would be bridges are culverts.
According to a file from the Western Bay of Plenty District Council the following remnants of the line are known to exist between Athenree and Apata. Their source is a 2002 report for the Historic Places Trust by Phillip Moore. Rather than embedding the maps into this blog post I have linked to maps of all the locations that I know of by converting the NZMS260 map references where these are given. There is one photo in that document of a concrete culvert where the road appears to go over the railway line. It isn’t identified but I assume it is Athenree Station.

1. Athenree Station (see below)
2. Athenree Station site – concrete foundations, rail formation, culvert near SH2,
plate layers cottages and Arden Cottage. [T13 E6903 N1177]
3. Railway Formation south of Athenree Road (800m) [T13 E6990 N 1153]
4. Prominent Cutting through hill (100m) [U13 E70021 N10383]
5. Concrete Culvert [T13 E69940 N10181]
6. Small Concrete Bridge Piles (Bridge No. 28) [T13 E69768 N09677]
7. Tuapiro Stream Bridge Abutment [T13 E6915 N0765]
8. Railway Formation south of Kauri Point Rd (800m) [T13 E691 N054]
9. Tahawai Stream Bridge (No. 35) Concrete Piers [T13 E6794 N0331]
10. McKinney (Tawherowhero) Bridge timber abutments (No. 37) [T13 E67833 N02574]
11. Uretara Stream Bridge (No. 40) timber abutments [T13 E67654 N00894]
12. Henry Road cutting and railway formation (200m)
13. Rereatukahia Stream concrete bridge (no.44) [T14 E67621 N98416]
14. Te Manaia Stream Timber Trestle bridge (no. 46)
15. Waitokohe Sream Timber Trestle Bridge (No. 48) and embankment (300m)
16. Aongatete River Bridge (No. 51) concrete and timber piers
17. Whatakao Stream Timber Trestle Bridge (No. 52)
19. Wainui River Timber Trestle Bridge (No. 56)
20. Apata Station Site – small station building
The Athenree Station is located at a new site at 360 Athrenree Road (Stewart Homestead). This site is encircled by a well known large horseshoe curve of the old railway route. I believe this is Street View’s view at the time of writing of the old station building. The photo is a bit dark but the building which looks just like a typical railway station is on the little rise about the centre of this view.
This post is not going to be a series of posts, nor is there going to be any more maps updated this year (if ever) because all this stuff takes forever to do. But if I had kept all the blog posts of the two former blogs that I used to write on this subject, I would gladly repost them herewith.