This is the third in a series of five research posts about the Rimutaka Incline section of the Wairarapa Line. This section was bypassed by the Rimutaka Deviation in October 1955 and the track was lifted within months.
The Remutaka Rail Trail is currently the major feature of this part of the Rimutaka Incline Section and starts at Kaitoke, continuing through to Cross Creek on the eastern side of the Remutaka Hill. This did not open until 1984 and for the first 29 years it was just an access road into what has become a pine forestry plantation.
In this section we can see the location of what is believed to be a staff house alongside the track in an isolated area. This was not uncommon in the earlier era of railways and such a house would have had no road access and the staff concerned were probably track staff responsible for that length of track. If they had children then they would probably be transported either by train or motor trolley to Kaitoke for their schooling.
Once upon a time there was a quarry siding about 3 miles east of Kaitoke, so perhaps somewhere in the view of this map. We could not trace that, but a location marked by the letter D in this diagram is where there were possibly 4 huts lined up alongside the track, probably used to store trolleys for track maintenance. The Pakuratahi Tunnel is upper right, one of three places where the original and new routes crossed over each other.
This is Ladle Bend where the railway crossed a well known bridge that still exists today. There was another house alongside the track inside the bend. Once upon a time there was also a ballast siding near Ladle Bend but we again have not been able to trace it.
General overview of Summit.
West end of Summit. The turntable was used for turning the engines that took the train from here to Upper Hutt as the Fell engines were never turned. The original curve closed in 1903 was diverted to allow the yard to be made longer with more room for wagons in sidings.
East end of Summit. The engine shed is the only building we have marked. The buildings on the hillside above were mainly houses for the few staff that were based there. Although Summit was not considered a “service station” closed to public traffic, in practice the freight was mainly for railway staff and coal for steam engines, and passenger traffic would have practically all been for the staff as well. Probably any children would have travelled by train to Cross Creek to be educated at the school there, and returned later in the day. The main function of Summit was to change from the Fell engines to regular engines, or vice versa, which generally took a bit of time to implement. Fell vans also had to be put on or taken off, as like the H engines they were only used on the Incline.
Next article will look at the incline itself through to Cross Creek and we will have a track diagram of that station, as well. The incline itself is of note having three tunnels and a number of other points of interest.