Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Napier Gisborne Line: Some Aerial Photos [1]

As the debate continues to rage over the future of the Gisborne line, here are some aerial photos from the best quality that Land Information NZ or National Library has to offer.

Whites Aviation shot of Waikokopu. The station was at the far end of the big curve and the port must have still been somewhat usable at the time (1951) although once the railway was completed it became nearly superfluous. Note to the right the concrete blocks needed along the foreshore to protect the railway embankment.

Whites Aviation view of Opoutama in 1951, station  platform and shelter shed. Scoble (see reference list) seems to suggest the name was also used at Kopuawhara a little further up the line. This station seems to have been mainly for passenger use without a siding but small lots of goods may have been handled on an unattended basis until the 1980s. The closing date for passengers shown as 2002 must have been for specials.

Ravensdown Gisborne depot, one of a small number of sidings still operational in the area when the line closed.

Prime sawmill, another siding but the mill was closed some years earlier. A wood processing plant was to have been established on the cleared site to the left but work was stopped around 2008.
A washout at 348.9 km which must have happened since the line closed. If the description I received is correct then this location had old railway wagons as a retaining wall under the embankment which have collapsed into the river.
A new washout developing at Wharerata Walkway Station in this 2015 photo.
The area known as Blacks Beach around the Mahia Peninsula showing the erosion that is threatening the road and will affect the railway. The area above the track at this point is where the big slip came down in 1957 that closed the line for 2 months.