Tuesday 21 April 2020

Wairarapa Line [0EE]: Volume 6 Progress Update 31

Good morning. We have been making good progress with the Wairarapa Line maps since our last update and have completed aligning the corridor for the entire route. This means now all we need to do is draw in a few stations and then produce the remaining maps (currently produced up to Summit). 

To get these stations in place to draw means completing our mosaics for Featherston and beyond. We are currently completing these mosaics and have exported them so far just for Masterton, which does let us draw that yard whilst waiting for the mosaics to be ready for the rest of the northern section of the line.

The rest of the stations and other areas that have to be drawn are:
  • Cross Creek
  • Pigeon Bush
  • Rimutaka Loop
  • Featherston
  • Woodside
  • Greytown
  • Carterton
  • Booths Siding
  • Taratahi Siding
  • Waingawa
  • Solway
  • Renall Street
  • Masterton
  • Opaki (Bridge only)
  • Mauriceville
  • Eketahuna
  • Pahiatua
  • Mangatainoka
  • Ngawapurua (including Bridge)

We expect these layouts will generally only take a day or two to complete, so the work of finishing this volume can be pushed ahead fairly rapidly. The other remaining work is to confirm the alignment of the Hutt Park Railway and to produce the maps for it, as well as those for the Gracefield Branch, Greytown Branch, and the Rimutaka Incline Section beyond Summit. We are therefore still quite confident of completing Volume 6 by the end of this month. 

3431 Service Siding, about 1.8 km south of Featherston, was the official name for the junction of the old and new Wairarapa Lines from Upper Hutt, as it appeared in the S&I diagram between 1955 and 1957. During the construction of the Rimutaka Deviation this gave a rail connection to the northern end of the new route.

After the deviation came into use in November 1955, it was used to access the Rimutaka Incline Section up to Cross Creek for closure and demolition purposes.
The level crossing is known as "Speedys Crossing" and this name is referred to also in accounts of the period. The junction points were removed in 1957 following the lifting of the Rimutaka Incline Section.

Note the two mileages shown, the first being the mileage from the opening of the Rimutaka Deviation, and the second being the mileage for the old route over the Rimutaka Incline. This reflects that the Rimutaka Incline Section added about nine miles to the length of the Wairarapa Line. North of this location, the original mileages were retained all the way to Woodville until the advent of metrication in 1974, at which time the entire corridor was remeasured from Wellington for the half and full kilometre pegs to be put in.

The upper view is the location as seen in 1957, and the lower as in 2017.