Wednesday, 9 May 2018

MSL Lyttelton-Rolleston [0]: Christchurch Station - Introduction

Well this is a new series that will cover the Main South Line within the Christchurch suburban limits (Christchurch-Rolleston). We have already had a detailed look at Addington, which was treated as part of the Main North Line, as it is a junction station. Christchurch is immediately west of Addington, and the mosaic aerial maps for Christchurch are being started from the ones that were created for Addington, which due to their size were split into three separate Gimp projects.

For the purposes of these maps we define Christchurch as being a length of the MSL starting from Wilsons Road crossing (9.28 km), and ending between Antigua Street and Selwyn Street crossings (about 11.75 km). In other words it is quite a long section of the MSL (total about 2.5 km) and will be split  into three files for creating the aerial mosaics, but these will be seamless when the maps are printed out. The boundaries that are used to define "Christchurch" on these maps, while based on the NZR definition, are not necessarily representative of actual "station limits". However "Christchurch" did cover a wide area as the signalling system used the signalbox at Christchurch station which controlled tracks and signals throughout that area.

This section is shown courtesy of a screendump of the Kiwirail Alcam maps below.

The railway sites and installations which are included in this section of the MSL include:

The former Christchurch B freight shed building and site. The building is still owned by NZRC, but has not been used for railway purposes since the mid-1990s.


The former Christchurch railway station and shunting yard. The station building shown here was demolished several years ago but it had not been used for railway purposes since the mid-1990s. Most of the yard land has been built on since the yards shut down around 1990. This site also included A, C and D freight sheds.

The former E freight shed complex and the Waltham carriage depot. The car yard is still in use by Kiwirail Scenic Journeys. 

All the above sites also included industrial complexes that were served by sidings which will be detailed in the series of articles that will be produced.

The first stage of preparation for writing the article is to create the map mosaics, a relatively slow task and one that will go on alongside other map work currently being done for the Otago Central Railway, so it will take a few days to create the first one called "Christchurch West".