Sunday, 2 December 2007

Omoto Realignment

Omoto is a station on the Midland Line (208.48 km) just east of Greymouth (210.94 km). This section of the line opened April 1876. About halfway between the two stations the line crosses unstable ground known as the Omoto Slip. Originally a viaduct was used to get the line across the gap but as time went on, movement of the hillside caused its foundations to move resulting in the line being pushed towards the river. In the late 1940s/early 1950s after some relatively trouble free years, the slip began to move fairly rapidly. The result was that authorities decided to widen the ledge carrying the highway and railway line by cutting into the hillside and then both were rebuilt on a curve taking them south of their former locations. The old viaduct was demolished and the piers remained for some years until they were eventually torn down. Another site nearby has been used at various times over the years to dump old locomotives and rolling stock as river protection works. Much of this dates from the 1950s and the site is well known for the old steam engines in the river. Three of these were recovered from the site several years ago.
IMG_2195This article is taken from a newspaper and it shows the old viaduct before it was demolished. As can be seen the highway and rail line had been realigned at the time.

View Larger Map
This Google Map shows the extent of the realignment, using the above photo as a guide. The locomotive and rolling stock dump are further west of here.