Thursday, 24 August 2017

Nelson Section [2]: Gowanbridge-Murchison 2

Continuing from the previous article of this series about the Gowanbridge-Murchison section of the railway (which was only ever construction and never ran for any public services).

Coming up from Owen River as the road rounds the Rait Road junction there is another small bridge or culvert under the railway line.

This is Owen Junction, the railway went further out to towards the Buller River to avoid climbing the terraces.
Closeup of the Granity Creek works. The soil from the cutting north side of the bridge was used to build the embankment which still stands beside the highway today.

Granity Creek is only about 1 km from Gowanbridge, the furtherest west the NZR rails ever went. Since the PWD did have a locomotive working at Granity Creek just south of Gowanbridge it seems likely they had laid some track south of Gowanbridge at the time. The embankment they were building was incomplete so it's extremely doubtful track got any further than Granity Creek.
Granity Creek as seen in a 1943 aerial photo. This suggests the reuse of the cutting for the highway was underway by this time.

Rait Road with the small bridge or culvert under the former track bed.