Thursday, 16 March 2017

Otago Central Railway [11]: Alexandra-Clyde

At the moment I am focusing just on getting the main line aligned from the aerial photos and haven't drawn any more station layouts or milepegs in since Wedderburn Station and MP112 (Omakau). However soon enough the alignment work will be completed right through to Cromwell as I have just reached the outskirts of Clyde. Here are some images.

Bridge 85, also known as Manuherikia No.3 Bridge, is a formerly combined bridge just east of Alexandra. The railway track, of course, originally went down the middle of the bridge, which is one lane for road traffic. The rail trail has been diverted onto a new footway clipped onto the side of the bridge.

Alexandra railway station. Although the station building was still extant at the time of line closure, it is one that did not survive, being demolished. There are relatively few places on the line where a station building still there at the time of the line closing doesn't exist any more. We have Ranfurly, Hyde, Pukerangi, Hindon and Clyde (both sites) station buildings still in place for example. The Kokonga and Ida Valley buildings are elsewhere in Otago/South Canterbury and the Wedderburn, Ngapuna and part of Galloway are among those which have been returned to the site as part of the rail trail, all these having been removed with pre-1990 yard closures.

Here you can see where the Alexandra station platform still exists.

A building at the corner of Dunstan Road and Chicago St, Alexandra, carries this mural of the old station with a Vulcan railcar and a steam train, and a wagon being loaded.

A little known fact is that the track deviation for the new Clyde yard began at Youngs Lane, rather than where the new route curved away towards the post-1980 terminus at Sunderland Street. This allowed 500 metres of the old rail corridor to be turned into the new Highway 8. The Clyde yard eastern limits were at the same location with the sidings coming off the main there. There was never a permanent level crossing of Highway 8 by the railway, although a temporary connection was made at Sunderland St between the old line to Cromwell and the new railway alignment.