Saturday, 16 January 2010

Walton Park Branch

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This is a quick post based on the Walton Park Branch which ran off the south side of the Main South Line at Green Island (on the map above the line on the north side is the Fernhill Branch which is beyond the scope of this article). The main point of interest for the moment is the route that it took down into Green Island suburb from the eponymous MSL station. Harraways had a mill with its own siding very close to the Branch and it seems possible that the green line shown above Green Island on the map could be this siding, yet Leitch and Scott encourage us to believe that this was actually the Walton Park branch or part of it. The whole situation therefore is rather ambiguous. At 45°54'2.25"S 170°26'8.15"E we can quite clearly see that we have a tunnel going under the motorway from the MSL and this is pretty well confirmed in Street View. I think this part is for the Harraways siding, rather than the Walton Park branch. There would seem to be a reasonable case to suggest that this is what the tunnel was built for and that the motorway was built perhaps somewhat before the closure took place. These tunnels for sidings to go under motorways or highways exist in a number of places in NZ, although they are not classed as a tunnel by NZR standards; they are really just a large culvert, but are called “tunnels” for the purpose of this article.