Last time we posted on this subject was a month ago today and it’s surprising it has taken that long to get back to Volume 6. Now that Volume 5 has been posted as detailed in our last post, we can push ahead with Volume 6 from next week, but the rest of this week will be spent gathering aerial photos. After considering our options, we will only be updating the main stations, such as Wellington (strictly speaking not part of the WL), Ngauranga, Petone, Upper Hutt and anything in between that has hi res official station surveys and had extra sidings at the time, then probably Featherston, Carterton and Masterton as available and anything else that has NZR station surveys. ALthough not checked yet, we hope this includes good quality scans of the Gracefield Branch freight yards and Seaview sidings. The last time we looked at any Wellington Region stuff, as with other areas we have been working on more recently, the station surveys had not been uploaded, and once again it is pleasing to have discovered them.
However due to lack of time we won’t be doing any other stations at the present unless official station surveys are found, so the list of stations in our previous post is probably not going to be made use of. Even though the corridor is much less involved than Volume 5, with fewer branches and a much shorter overall length, updating all these stations is going to be fairly involved. So a lot of work will be needed and we have to try to get our original schedule back on track as well, being rather late in our release date for Volume 5.
We may update Wellington if there is time as a side contribution to Volume 2 but that volume will be one of the last completed in the North Island (NIMT) due to being so long and the central part of it having the least complete collection online so far, due to Horizons region only having been added to Retrolens at the start of this year. Amongst all the coverage for Wellington rail yards, so far yielding complete sets for 1969 and 1974, is what appears to be a full set of aerials the entire length of the Johnsonville Branch from 1971 which includes the terminus which was quite different then from what it is today. That will be very interesting as so far we have not turned up a good quality aerial photo of that station before now. However we are keen to locate some from an earlier era if possible especially when Johnsonville was more of a freight terminal, which was certainly the case when it was part of the main line, although that is too far back. It was a stock handling station until Raroa became the primary stockyards on the line.