Saturday, 28 August 2010

Oxford Branch Map Updated

Yesterday since I was at Cust, I had a look at Google Earth coverage and noted that it has now been considerably improved, the Spot footage being replaced with Geoeye dating from last December. The much higher resolution led directly to me revising the Oxford Branch map.

The major change to this map is shown below with the revision of possible locations for the Oxford-Sheffield section.

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The Quail Atlas was used as a guide for this task. The need to revise the map came about from the realisation that the line coming north off the Waimakariri Gorge bridge faced a major obstacle in the form of a river terrace that needed to be surmounted. My earlier map design put the railway into a position that was impossible to achieve since it would have faced a sharp change in height to get over the terrace. Thus it was logical to conclude that the route was taken over by the highway for a much longer distance than I had previously thought: as far as the approximate location of the Bexley station that can be seen above. Previously I had thought that the route of the railway was most likely alongside the next road to the east. This road called Watsons Reserve Road has a reserve alongside it, which shows up on maps, and which can be mistaken for the old railway reserve, but I am guessing that there was probably not any relation in fact. It is of course rather difficult to be sure of the exact route of the line that closed such a long time ago, some 80 years in all.