Sunday, 14 May 2017

Taneatua Branch Track Removals

This is a list I posted to a Facebook group which I am going to expand upon a bit.
  • Bridge over Main St, Edgecumbe. This is quite a recent removal but of greater concern is that Kiwirail decided there was a perfect opportunity there to make some money by sending the bridge steelwork off to scrapping.
  • Bridge over Hydro Rd, Edgecumbe. This bridge was removed for the purpose of allowing heavy vehicle traffic to bypass the Reid’s Canal highway bridge when that was being raised a few years ago. Both of these bridges at Edgecumbe had very low clearances for road traffic. The span of this bridge was supposedly put in the Edgecumbe yard for storage but may well have been scrapped by now for all I know. There has been no attempt to reinstate the bridge since. Neither has any attempt apparently been made to remove the bridge abutments and piles but sooner or later someone will want to widen the road.
  • Span washed out on Reid's Canal Bridge. This happened after the last big flood in the Edgecumbe area as it is very flood prone. This was because Reid’s Canal was too narrow, and the waterflow undercut the bridge abutment at one end of the bridge causing the span to collapse into the river. The BOP District Council has decided that Reid’s Canal and Omeheu Canal will both need to be widened and that the railway bridges across them will need to be lengthened in future if the railway is reopened. Since the railway is unlikely to reopen the bridges will probably be partly demolished or removed.
  • Track sealed over at the ends of the Peketahi combined bridge. Not sure when this has happened but quite a long time ago.
  • Level crossings sealed up. Again unsure when this has occurred.
  • Highway overbridge demolished and highway realigned at Taneatua. The bridge was first temporarily bypassed a few years ago to allow repairs to be done. Because it was in such a poor condition, being wooden, NZTA was expecting they would have to get rid of it. They temporarily built the highway to go around it and then it was demolished. The highway was then realigned at its intersection with Taneatua Road. The reason the intersection gave a kink in it for SH2 was that Taneatua Road west of the intersection used to be the highway which formerly took a different route via Whakatane. The realignment of the highway was completed last year and it uses part of the railway alignment and the track was removed off the section it uses.
Streetview east of the old overbridge, the ramp for which can be seen on the right with an excavator demolishing it. In the background work is underway on the highway realignment.
Streetview of the demolition of the Taneatua Overbridge.
Streetview of the highway realignment. In the foreground note a short piece of railway track still visible, the temporary highway has sealed over the part in the foreground while into the background it has been removed.
Streetview of the end of the Taneatua Branch where it now effectively is. The track can be seen to the right.