Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Otago Central Railway [23B]: Wedderburn station completed

The last post covered part of Wedderburn with the Google streetview images of the station area. Here are the fully completed maps with some more streetviews of Wedderburn looking in the opposite direction (east instead of west).

The main difference is discovering from Steve Watts' photos that the platform and both high and low loading banks are still present in the original station site.

 Relocated station and goods shed looking east

Relocated station

Low loading bank

Site of goods shed and high level loading bank. Platform on left.

 One of the local accommodation providers for rail trail users at Wedderburn.

Where railway housing used to be located at Wedderburn

The Red Barn is the other major rail trail accommodation provider at Wedderburn. The trail is climbing steadily towards the summit at 1 in 51.

Still climbing steadily the line approaches the Wedderburn Overbridge (No.66). The function of the structure made of rail at the side is unclear but it could have been a rail stack for maintenance purposes.

Wedderburn Overbridge. The abutments of the original wooden and single lane bridge are in the foreground, the two lane concrete bridge was built in the 1960s.

The total lineal distance covered in the climb from Wedderburn to the summit is around 5 km and most of this is 1 in 51 grade, the ascension in that distance is 80 metres. Here we are looking back downhill, on the left is the official rail trail marker for the line summit.

When the railway was first built the highway crossed on the level at this location. Some years later an overbridge was built on the same stretch of highway in order to bypass this level crossing, the bridge can be seen in the background (No.66a).

Close up view of Bridge 66a. The entire highway incorporating this bridge was bypassed sometime between 1954 and 1970 going by different maps. The article here covers this in more detail

My guess is the same time as the Wedderburn overbridge was replaced i.e. mid 1960s as it is typical Roads Board practice to package several improvements into one project.

The date given in the original article for when this overbridge itself might have been built isn't actually certain at all. More research would be needed to work out when it was put in.