Tuesday 25 February 2020

Wairarapa Line [0I]: Volume 6 Progress Update 9

In the last few days we've been working on historical maps for Upper Hutt to Featherston. This takes in the old railway over the Remutakas that was bypassed by the Rimutaka Deviation with the big tunnel in 1955.

Although this seems to suggest a great rate of progress, we in actuality still have a fair amount to do with the projects covering previous sections of the line, there still being work for example in Melling-Haywards for the project covering the present main line from Waterloo to Haywards. We have actually only got historical tiles for three stations so far, all of them north of Wallaceville, for the entire Wairarapa Line. So there is still a great deal of work extracting the tiles from the completed projects, and in some cases, some historical work still to be done.

For Upper Hutt - Featherston, we have managed to come up with more aerial photos that are of greater benefit. For Upper Hutt itself, we have 1943, 1963, 1970 and 1980 historical coverage now, in addition to the current. We also have 1963 for Kaitoke, which whilst post closure, will help in the placement of the buildings, which were preserved for some years complete (they have all gone in more recent times), 

The biggest discovery has been 1943 aerial photos of Summit and Cross Creek, which are the two stations at the top and bottom of the Rimutaka Incline, respectively. These will enable more detailed mapping of the yards, although site plans are really needed to confirm impressions on the ground as the old aerial photos are not really sharp enough to pick out the details accurately. Still, it will be a good addition to the maps.

So at this stage the schedule looks much as predicted; there will be one more mosaic project that will take in Featherston to Masterton and the Greytown Branch. We naturally hope to get some better historical aerials of that line but have not looked into it just yet. That plus finishing the existing projects will take until the end of the week, and then it will be an all in intensive effort to try to get Volume 6 completed the following week. We will have to see how that pans out.

Summit 1943
 Cross Creek 1943/current.