Wednesday, 23 August 2017

MSL Palmerston-Dunedin [4]: Port Chalmers - Blanket Bay

The westernmost part of the Port Chalmers siding and the MSL passing through Tunnel 7.

Most of the other Port Chalmers track plus their one and only tunnel. The station at various times was named Port Chalmers and Port Chalmers (Lower). Since there were three stations named Port Chalmers at various times there is some confusion in the information about their dates.

The other two Port Chalmers stations are shown above. Mussel Bay as it was latterly known was also called Port Chalmers (Lower) at one time, and now claims the sole use of the PC name as the only station of the three still in existence, albeit merely as service sidings.

The railway between Port Chalmers and Dunedin has changed a great deal since it was originally built. Heading south from the port the tracks have been moved a few times. Most of the rearrangement shown on this map happened in the 1970s when State Highway 88 was put through to Port Chalmers, as the railway had to be realigned over the new overbridge. The quarry site was used to source stone for building the causeway across Blanket Bay in the 1930s, and quite recently a curve was eased at its south edge.

Blanket Bay originally had a tunnel on the old coastal route of the line, which was replaced by the Sawyers Bay tunnel with the completion of the causeway deviation in 1948. The causeway has never had the second track laid, although the Sawyers Bay loop was laid through the tunnel alongside the main line.