Saturday, 26 August 2017

Nelson Section [6]: Tapawera-Glenhope

So here is a new Nelson subseries, from Tapawera to Glenhope. As I have just finished drawing the maps back to Tapawera, so it is now a good time to put these maps up on the blog.

So here we are again with Glenhope, the terminus of the line from 1912-1926 and 1931-1955. There was a ballast pit at the west end of the yard, later on some locomotives were dumped there (subsequently scrapped).
 Heading due north from Glenhope (or in railway terms, east). The line was climbing at this point towards the summit which needed an ascent of 65 metres in less than 6 km  of track, so the average gradient would be steeper than 1 in 100.  At this point the highway branches away and the "main road" of the Hope valley is the Tadmor-Glenhope road, rough and unsealed, and as usual, not accurately depicted by the poor quality Linz road layer.

The river through here is the Hope River which joins the Buller River at Kawatiri. Once the railway crosses the summit it enters the valley of the Tadmor River which it follows as far as Tapawera, wherein the Tadmor River joins the Motueka River.

 Reaching the railway summit at 1485 feet. By comparison, the road crossing the Tadmor Saddle reaches 1595 feet.

Between the summit and Kaka station the road crossed the railway via an overbridge. This has been removed in the years since.

Kaka was the first station east of Glenhope and served a limeworks tramway and other industries. The tramway was in use from 1920 until late 1940s when its bridge became unsafe to use. The lime was then trucked to Kaka until the railway closed. Other sources suggest there was also a mill private siding off the railway nearby and a mill tramway, however the aerials I have are of insufficient resolution to pick these details up readily. This was the 1940s and the aerial photos were not of such good quality as today, and in any case usually the scale has to be below 1:10,000 on a contact print to be able to trace railway features readily from them. Apart from the sawmilling and lime there were also some clay quarries in the area, the clay was taken to Temuka to be made into pole insulators.

 Carrying on east and the bridge crosses Cat Creek.

 The next station east is Tui. This featured an overbridge like Kawatiri and Gowanbridge. The road on the right of the overbridge was built after the line closed but the overbridge remained in place at that time, of course it is now gone. Tui's station buildings were left in place for many years after the line closed, about 10 years ago they were sold to Founders Park Railway and shifted to Nelson.
 A bridge crossing Kakariki Creek.

Kiwi was another small station in the backblocks and had very light traffic. It is most remembered for the protests held when the line was being demolished in September 1955. Sonja Davies, a Labour activist who later became an MP, was one of the women who sat on the tracks and were arrested. The Kiwi goods shed was demolished as one of the first acts of demolition but the station building stayed on site for another 50 years until it was bought by the Tapawera Museum and moved to Tapawera in 2005.

 Tadmor was another small station, without permanent staffing.

 Rakau was a quiet little station except during the seasonal fruit and vegetable harvest.

Just west of Tapawera was the combined bridge crossing the Motueka River. It was completed in 1904 and used by trains for 51 years until the line closed, and after that by road traffic only until 1977 when the present two lane bridge was built just downstream. The roads on either side of the bridge have been realigned since the demise of the railway.