Sunday, 14 May 2017

Kingston Line Flooding Damage January 1980

A report found online happens to mention the extent of this damage which probably was significant in the decisions to close the line around this time.
In particular:
  • Track and approaches to Bridge 52 severely washed out
  • Bridges 58 and 66 up to 100 mm out of line.
Based on the curve and gradient diagram for the line (published by Joe Wallace on his Flickr site) we can determine the locations of these bridges:
  • Bridge 52 between Parawa and Athol
  • Bridge 58 between Athol and Nokomai
  • Bridge 66 just south of Fairlight (Mataura River Bridge)
Bridge 66 is the main obstacle to proposals which have been floated from time to time to re-open the line as far as Garston. If this was not viable in the  1980s when the private operation of the Flyer was first established, it is much less achievable now since the bridge has subsequently been completely demolished.
The bridge number data will end up being useful when I update my maps for the Kingston Line which is going to be looked at in part of the full update of maps for Southland that is being worked on at present. Right now I won’t be looking for exactly where the numbered bridges are, Bridge 66 is easy to identify due to its proximity to Fairlight station.