Wairarapa Line [0LL]: Volume 6 Progress Update 38

As we have now managed to push through another 10 km of the Wairarapa line and have now reached the 101 km peg, some stats are in order.

Total maps produced in volume 6 so far: 1139. This is more than the total number for Volume 5, even though Volume 5’s corridors, all-up, are probably three times the length.

Map production began on March 2 (about 2 months ago) and each date shows the section that was started (and in some cases completed) that day.

  • 2020-03-02: 0 km (start) WL
  • 2020-03-03: 2 km WL
  • 2020-03-05: 2.5 km WL
  • 2020-03-13: 10 km WL
  • 2020-03-17: 15.5 km WL
  • 2020-03-18: 23 km WL
  • 2020-03-19: 24 km WL
  • 2020-03-22: 27 km WL
  • 2020-03-26: start RIS at Upper Hutt
  • 2020-03-27: 33.5 km WL / near Mangaroa Station RIS
  • 2020-04-02: start WHS at Petone & finish at Haywards
  • 2020-04-05: start SSS at Haywards Junction & finish at Silverstream Station.
  • 2020-04-08: Dry Creek bridge RIS (above Remutaka Tunnel south portal)
  • 2020-04-09: just north of entrance to Remutaka Rail Trail RIS
  • 2020-04-10: just south of entrance to Remutaka Rail Trail RIS
  • 2020-04-30: 40 km WL / Summit Tunnel RIS
  • 2020-05-01: 46 km WL / RIS concluded
  • 2020-05-02: 57.5 km WL
  • 2020-05-03: 58 km WL
  • 2020-05-04: 85.5 km WL
  • 2020-05-05: 88 km WL
So what we can see in these stats is steady progress but not production done on every single day. In some cases there are gaps of a few days. This does reflect that we have relaxed the production schedule somewhat, but also that drawing the maps filled in a lot of those gaps as well. This volume has been very slow in part because of the complexity of the maps of Wellington and the Hutt Valley which has slowed it a great deal, and a huge amount of mosaics which for example provide 1943 coverage of the entire Rimutaka Incline section and 1957 coverage of the entire Western Hutt section, plus multi generations of much of the Wellington-Upper Hutt and the Silver Stream sections. Those multi generations and layers of mosaics also account for the very large number of maps in this volume even though it is only about half completed, compared to Volume 5.

Obviously we can see the problem with that schedule, and that is that with the amount of progress in the past week, it’s hard to see the volume being finished by the weekend, and maybe even another week is needed. And what is missed out here is a lot of loose ends, like the Gracefield Branch, Hutt Park Branch and Featherston Camp Siding, that have to be finished and produced as well. So maybe two weeks is more realistic, or closer to the middle of May. But we won’t rule out that it could actually be closer to the end of May.

For volume 2, we are going to streamline the production for North Auckland even though we are adding mosaics of every station in the Auckland Transport passenger service area. Those mosaics are about one-two week’s work, so the time to put them together is fairly substantial. It may well be the case that Volume 2 will take more than a month overall, but we are very keen to shorten the time that we spent on Volume 6, which will be achieved by reducing the production standard from “Intermediate” to “Basic+”.

Above: Opaki Station 1961. This closed to passengers 1969 and completely in 1972.

Below: the bridge north of Opaki was first built as a parallel combined structure, in which separate road and rail superstructures share a common substructure (piers). There are currently three bridges of this unusual type on the KRL network – they are at Inangahua Junction, Westshore and Arahura. So far as we know there have only ever been these four on the whole network. Much more common back in the day was the combined bridge with a single shared superstructure for both road and rail on the same level, and about as common as the parallel type was the double decker type of which there appear to have been three in total. Of these, the only one still used by Kiwirail is at Seddon with the road on the lower deck having been removed some years ago, but expected to be reinstated for a cycleway. The others are at Okahukura on the mothballed Stratford Okahukura Line; and at Karangahake on the closed Paeroa-Apata section of the ECMT. 
This aerial photo is dated 1966, showing the new bridge and track under construction; we assume it was brought into use about 1967.