Kimihia railway station

Kimihia Railway Station was on the North Island Main Trunk line, north of Huntly in the Waikato District of New Zealand. The station was in 1886 measured as 19 mi 33 ch (31.2 km) south of Mercer,[2] which is where an unnamed block is shown on the 1929 map,[3] near the junction of Fisher Road with SH1, about 1.4 km (0.87 mi) north of the junction with the Kimihia branch. That junction was 101.06 km (62.80 mi) south of Auckland and 576.54 km (358.25 mi) from Wellington.[4]

Kimihia Railway Station
Kimihia 1941.jpg
Aerial view of Fisher Road in 1941 (centre-right of photo). The white patches to the south of the road were probably the site of the station until 1939
General information
LocationHuntly
New Zealand
Coordinates37°31′00″S 175°09′57″E / 37.516555°S 175.165759°E / -37.516555; 175.165759Coordinates: 37°31′00″S 175°09′57″E / 37.516555°S 175.165759°E / -37.516555; 175.165759
Elevation11 m (36 ft)
Owned byKiwiRail Network
Line(s)North Island Main Trunk
DistanceWellington 577.92 km (359.10 mi)
Tracksdouble track from 27 August 1939[1]
History
Opened13 August 1877
Closed27 August 1939
Services
Preceding station   Historical railways   Following station
Ohinewai
Line open,
station closed
4.02 km (2.50 mi)
  North Island Main Trunk
KiwiRail
  Huntly
Line open,
station open
4.2 km (2.6 mi)

One source said it was much nearer Huntly, where Kimihia Rd crossed the railway.[5] Kimihia Rd level crossing was closed to traffic in 1945.[6]

HistoryEdit

The station opened when the Main Trunk was extended from Mercer to Ngāruawāhia, on 13 August 1877,[7] built on part of Robert Reilly Ralph's (later owner of Ralph's coalmine) 1,000 acres (400 ha) farm.[8]

Kimihia was usually not shown in timetables[9][10] and was often one of the minor stations not served by passenger trains.[11][12] An 1894 petition asked for Kimihia siding be converted into a flag station. In 1895 trains called at Kimihia Siding for school children and it became a flag station from 7 February 1896. By the end of that year it had a shelter shed, passenger platform and a passing loop for 37 wagons.[2]

To ease congestion on the single track railway, a passing loop capable of holding 72 wagons was built in 1929.[13] Work on doubling the track northwards started in 1937[14] and the station closed on 27 August 1939,[15] when double track working started between Ohinewai and Huntly.[2]

In 1944 Kimihia became part of Huntly Borough.[16]

Kimihia colliery branchEdit

 
Kimihia railway branch line can be faintly seen in the 1941 aerial photo, which follows the same route as the line open from 1946 to 2017, as shown on the 2018 Topomap. The lake was largely drained to allow for opencast coal mining

Powers to construct the mine branch were given in 1885.[17] Initially it was a 1 mi 76 ch (3.1 km) branch[18] around the southern shore of Lake Kimihia to the Taupiri Reserve Colliery Co. mine, which was opened on 1 August 1887[19] and named the Taupiri Branch.[20] That mine closed due to a fire in 1910.[21]

State Coal Mines started an opencast mine in 1943 to extract the coal left by the previous mine.[16] It produced coal from 1944, when agreement was reached to use the Taupiri Coal Co's sidings,[22] but the branch wasn't reopened until 1946.[23] The opencast mine closed in 1977 and was replaced by Huntly East Mine[24] in 1978.[25]

On 21 August 1979 the first loaded train used the branch, which started 3 km (1.9 mi) north of Huntly and extended 3.58 km (2.22 mi) east to the coal loading bins. From 7 July 1981 the Railway Corporation took over maintenance of the branch from the Mines Department.[2] Until 2013 the mine was producing about 450,000 tonnes of coal a year, some 95% of it going by rail to Glenbrook steel mill.[25] The mine closure was announced on 8 October[26] and the branch closed on 21 October 2015.[27] It was 3 km (1.9 mi) when lifted in 2017.[28]

 
2019 view of Kimihia Branch from NIMT

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ NEW ZEALAND RAILWAYS GEOGRAPHICAL MILEAGE TABLE 1957
  2. ^ a b c d "Stations" (PDF). NZR Rolling Stock Lists. Retrieved 10 August 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "1:63360 map Sheet: SAK21". www.mapspast.org.nz. 1925. Retrieved 16 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ New Zealand Railway and Tramway Atlas (Fourth ed.). Quail Map Co. 1993. ISBN 0 900609 92 3.
  5. ^ "Stations". NZR Rolling Stock Lists. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  6. ^ "CLOSED TO TRAFFIC – AUCKLAND STAR". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 15 October 1945. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  7. ^ "TABLE NO. 9.— Appendix K. NEW ZEALAND RAILWAYS.—NORTH ISLAND. Statement of Lengths of Sections Open for Traffic, 31st March, 1880". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  8. ^ "Huntly". nzetc.victoria.ac.nz. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Page 4 Advertisements Column 3 AUCKLAND STAR". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 21 August 1877. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  10. ^ "Page 3 Advertisements Column 8 AUCKLAND STAR". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 12 March 1936. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Page 14 Advertisements Column 7 NEW ZEALAND HERALD". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 12 February 1921. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  12. ^ "RAILWAY SERVICE. AUCKLAND STAR". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 7 November 1923. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  13. ^ "OVER-WORKED. AUCKLAND STAR". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 10 April 1929. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  14. ^ "MAIN TRUNK LINE – NEW ZEALAND HERALD". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 24 March 1937. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  15. ^ "Page 23 Advertisements Column 6 AUCKLAND STAR". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 26 August 1939. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  16. ^ a b "District Plan Review – Built Heritage Assessment Historic Overview – Huntly & District" (PDF). Waikato District Council.
  17. ^ "The Railways Authorization Act, 1885" (PDF).
  18. ^ "TRACK AVAILABLE FROM HUNTLY EAST MINE" (PDF). FEDERATION OF RAIL ORGANISATIONS NZ. January 2017.
  19. ^ "INSPECTION OF MINES (ANNUAL REPORT OF THE INSPECTORS ON)". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 1887. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  20. ^ "Public Works Statement, by the Minister for Public Works, the Hon. Edwin Mitchelson". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 18 August 1888. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  21. ^ "TAUPIRI COAL COMPANY. AUCKLAND STAR". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 29 April 1910. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  22. ^ "NEW ZEALAND HERALD, OPENCAST MINING GOOD RESULTS OBTAINED". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 7 June 1944. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  23. ^ "NEW ZEALAND HERALD, MINING COAL – OPEN-CAST SYSTEM A NEW EXCAVATOR". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 24 October 1945. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  24. ^ Prentice, A. (2005). "Quantification of Opencast Potential Within the Waikato Coalfields Using Pit Optimisation Software". University of Wollongong.
  25. ^ a b "Huntly East". mininglink.com.au. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  26. ^ "Huntly mine closure 'end of an era'". Radio New Zealand. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  27. ^ "Coal mining stops at Huntly East". NZ Railway Observer: 195 (photo of last train on 21 Oct on page 199). December 2015.
  28. ^ "Photos - Kimihia Branch lifting". nzrailphotos.co.nz. Retrieved 2 February 2019.

External linksEdit