Saturday, 24 July 2010

Early Years of the Weka Pass Railway – Part 9 : 1987 (B)

Please note that this blog is a personal journal and does not purport to be officially representative of the Weka Pass Railway in any way.
See Part 8 for the narrative of events in 1987.
Some time in 1987, here is the Glenmark station with the passenger train at left in the loop (which at that stage was actually a long siding), and the Mina station building on its new site in the background. Gary Kelly and others are laying out the dock road siding to the right.
Also in 1987, the annual winter excursion was run to Arthurs Pass as was the custom at the time. It is seen here on the Midland line.
June 1987. This is Bridge No.14 just south of Medbury, still intact at the time. Track removal began a few months later. Here we can see Medbury in the background.
August 1987. The second Wickham car is seen outside the engine shed. Parts of a Hiab crane are also visible. In the event, the car was found to be impractical to restore and was later stripped for parts.

October 1987. After months of work the sidings into the engine shed and the vicinity were relaid. At the left the track goes off to connect to the NZR. To the right we can see that the social hall is being repainted.
November 1987. The closed Heathcote station building was purchased and demolished by the society members for materials to use at Glenmark. The stone faced station platform remains today.
December 1987. Work began to lift the track across the Waitohi River bridge between Hawarden and Medbury. The bridge beams however were left for almost another ten years. Pile remnants are still visible on Google Earth.
Late 1987. Just past the north abutment of Bridge 14 was this set of points giving access into the Medbury loop. Both loop and main crossed the main road at Medbury station. Track was being removed in the area but the points were left to be picked up at a later time.
December 1987. Another view of Bridge No. 14 after the removal of track and sleepers.
December 1987. Gary Kelly lifting rail on the Waitohi Bridge with the familiar white Mazda ute in the background. Aerial imagery suggests an old ballast pit was located on the right hand side of the track on the riverbank.
December 1987. The work party (as shown here, Philip Rowan, Harold Feather, Noel Horsham and Gary Kelly) lifting the track on the Waitohi Bridge.
December 1987. Just to the north side of the Waitohi bridge, here is the formation after the track has been cleared. Rails and sleepers were left to be picked up later.