Wednesday, 23 August 2017

MSL Palmerston-Dunedin [5]: St Leonards, Burkes, Maia

St Leonards in its original location was opened in 1873 as part of the original Dunedin-Port Chalmers line) and closed in 1931. It reopened in its latter location a week after the first station closed. This was probably related to the deviation of the line with the double track causeway straightening and duplicating the route. The station finally closed in 1980. 

This photo from the Hocken Library purports to be taken at St Leonards on 13 June 1948 - the very same day in which the Blanket Bay causeway was brought into use. The J class locomotive helps to date the picture to be later than 1931, the date at which the St Leonards causeway has, hitherto, been presumed to have come into use. If this photo is correct, which I believe it is (although the date may not be entirely correct), then the causeway across the bay at St Leonards was commissioned at the more or less the same time as Blanket Bay, and unlike the Burkes causeway which did come into use in 1931. Like most of the bypassed route this one has been turned into a road since the rail line was lifted. Note the original route at St Leonards was also a causeway, unlike most of the other formation which followed the shoreline.

Undated Muir and Moodie photo of Burkes (Te Papa Museum of NZ).

Burkes 1926. A P Godber collection, Alexander Turnbull Library.

Burkes was opened in 1872 with the original railway line. It closed permanently in 1931 when it was bypassed by the opening of the new causeway.

Maia opened in 1926 and was just over a kilometre to the south of Burkes. It effectively replaced the latter, but was not just a renaming as erroneously implied in the Quail Atlas. It closed in 1980.