Wednesday, 23 August 2017

MSL Palmerston-Dunedin [3]: Seacliff - Cliffs

Seacliff is at 342.19 km and is mainly used as a crossing loop. Like a number of passenger stations previously referenced it appears to have been closed to passengers with the introduction of the Southerner. It was closed to freight in 1981.

At 352.37 km, Waitati is unusual because of the curvature, particularly for 90 degrees. It is hard to build on a curve because platform clearances have to be increased and turnouts and other structures are more tricky to build on curves as well. Although in this case all of those challenges were able to be sidestepped, as only the loop is curved and the curve was avoided by most structures. It is still a crossing station but closed to the public in 1981 and freight traffic ceased in 1974. It was renamed from Blueskin in 1878.

The deviation at the Cliffs added the tenth tunnel (No.4) to the line. The date at which this deviation was constructed is not known to me. The station operated from 1925-47 for excursion trains only. Cliffs is at the moment, the only place in NZ I can think of where a cutting was replaced by a tunnel. There have been several places where the opposite occurred such as at Puketeraki as mentioned in the last post.