Ngāruawāhia railway station

Ngāruawāhia railway station was at the junction of the North Island Main Trunk line and its Glen Massey branch, serving Ngāruawāhia in the Waikato District of New Zealand, 74 mi (119 km) south of Auckland and 10 mi (16 km) north of Hamilton.[2] It was opened with a special train from Auckland on Monday 13 August 1877.[3] The next stations were Taupiri 6.5 km (4.0 mi) to the north and Horotiu 5.5 km (3.4 mi) to the south.[4]

Ngāruawāhia railway station
Ngāruawāhia railway station 1910.jpg
General information
LocationNgāruawāhia
New Zealand
Coordinates37°40′05.9″S 175°08′56.1″E / 37.668306°S 175.148917°E / -37.668306; 175.148917Coordinates: 37°40′05.9″S 175°08′56.1″E / 37.668306°S 175.148917°E / -37.668306; 175.148917
Elevation21 m (69 ft)
Owned byKiwiRail
DistanceWellington 559.06 km (347.38 mi)
Tracksdouble track from 4 December 1938[1]
History
Opened13 August 1877
Closed29 July 1978 (goods),
1975 (passengers)
Previous namesNewcastle until 1878
Services
Preceding station   Historical railways   Following station
Taupiri
Line open,
station closed
7.39 km (4.59 mi)
  North Island Main Trunk
KiwiRail
  Horotiu
Line open,
station open
5.52 km (3.43 mi)

In 2020 reopening of the remaining platform was put forward as a COVID-19 recovery scheme, estimated to cost $15m.[5]

Station site viewed from Hakarimata Range in 2017

HistoryEdit

The station opened on 13 August 1877,[6] as Newcastle,[7] when the line was extended 31 mi (50 km) from the previous terminus at Mercer,[8] though the stationmaster's house was added later.[9] It ceased to be the terminus when the line was extended to Te Awamutu on 1 July 1880. The name was changed in 1878.[10] Two months after opening, a platform was built opposite the Delta Hotel in the town centre, though the goods shed remained to the south.[11]

The 1902 edition of The Cyclopedia of New Zealand described the station as wooden, with an asphalt platform, goods shed, lamp and luggage rooms, a ladies' room, public waiting room, stationmaster's office and a post office.[12] A new station was reported as open in 1915,[13] though in 1916 the station was reported as "rearranged considerably",[14] which seems to have been when it was moved to about half way between the hotel and the goods shed.[15] Electric lights were installed in 1921.[16]

Traffic grew steadily (see graph and table below). The greatest increase was at the start of World War 2, presumably consisting largely of soldiers and relatives[17] travelling to and from Hopuhopu camp.[18]

 
tickets and season tickets sold at Ngāruawāhia 1881–1950 (derived from figures in table).
year tickets season tickets staff
1881 3,535 2[19]
1882 2,321 2[20]
1883 1,960 2[21]
1884 2,787 2[22]
1885 2,783 2[23]
1886 2,745 2 2[24]
1887 3,093 2 2[25]
1888 2,131 2 3[26]
1889 2,165 2 2[27]
1890
1891 2,142 3[28]
1892 2,654 3[29]
1893 2,309 4[30]
1894 2,450 3[31]
1895 2,574 3[32]
1896 2,653 3[33]
1897 2,274 3[34]
1898 3,273 3[35]
1899 3,158 3[36]
1900 3,210 3[37]
1901
1902 5,442 3[38]
1903 6,951 1 3[39]
1904 8,230 4 3[40]
1905 8,487 16 3[41]
1906 9,469 30 4[42]
1907 9,542 18 3[43]
1908 11,146 9 4[44]
1909 12,053 24 5[45]
1910 15,239 45 4[46]
1911 16,705 52 5[47]
1912 17,697 31 6[48]
1913 20,164 37 8[49]
1914 18,354 33 [50]
1915 19,620 36 [51]
1916 22,270 327 [52]
1917 21,029 296 [53]
1918 20,608 254 [54]
1919 22,606 300 [55]
1920 20,266 118 [56]
1921 22,535 106 [57]
1922 21,032 83 [58]
1923 20,909 76 [59]
1924 19,737 165 [60]
1925 17,197 147 [61]
1926 15,504 229 [62]
1927 13,143 184 [63]
1928 11,113 141 [64]
1929 11,061 115 [65]
1930 9,346 117 [66]
1931 10,731 147 [67]
1932 10,742 151 [68]
1933 11,579 102 [69]
1934 13,171 129 [70]
1935 13,137 132 [71]
1936 13,927 156 [72]
1937 14,581 199 [73]
1938 14,576 1,252 [74]
1939 15,879 3,016 [75]
1940 34,839 2,469 [76]
1941 58,643 3,131 [77]
1942 68,419 3,039 [78]
1943 48,246 3,010 [79]
1944 37,802 3,032 [80]
1945 23,207 2,120 [81]
1946 23,252 1,481 [82]
1947 15,198 1,304 [83]
1948 10,675 1,021 [84]
1949 10,471 877 [85]
1950 10,844 574 [86]

Waikato River BridgesEdit

1877 road-rail bridgeEdit

Work started on a road rail bridge over the Waikato River, with three 120 ft (37 m) spans[87] late in 1874,[88] with pile driving started on 18 January 1875.[89] Cylinders for the piers were delivered in 1875[90] and the first was put in place on 24 June 1875.[15] The bridge was said to be near completion in April 1876,[91] and a test train was run over it and it opened for road traffic in December 1876.[92] However, it wasn't reported as finished until 1877,[87] the year of a permanent way contract for the 30 miles from Mercer for £16,832.[93] The bridge, like the station, opened for rail traffic on 13 August 1877.[94]

Gates, controlled from the bridgekeeper's house, kept road traffic off the bridge when trains were due.[95] Although it was planned to demolish the house in 1929,[94] it survived until the bridge was demolished in 1968.[95]

1931 rail bridgeEdit

 
Class DL 9285 with a northbound freight on Ngāruawāhia railway bridge with a Toll truck on the road bridge. Tūrangawaewae is in the background.

In 1928 it was decided to replace the 1877 bridge, as it needed repair.[96] The new bridge was 35 ft (11 m) downstream,[97] had 6 spans, 3 x 117 ft (36 m) steel Pratt trusses, 2 x 38 ft (12 m) and 1 x 24 ft (7.3 m) plate girders, a total of 451 ft (137 m). It rests on concrete piers up to 70 ft (21 m) deep.[94] It was designed by NZR, using over 253 tons of steel[98] (or 255 tons).[99] It was made in Britain,[100] fabricated by A & G Price[101] and cost £25,000.[102] The last rivet was driven in February,[103] the first train crossed the bridge on 13 March[104][95] and by November 1931 the old bridge was being used for northbound road traffic.[105] At that time it was expected that the old bridge would be refurbished for rail use when the track was doubled, so it was leased to the Main Highways Board.[106]

1974 crashEdit

21 wagons of a southbound train derailed and piled up on the northernmost truss of the bridge after an axle broke[107] on 14 July 1974.[108]

2002 repairEdit

On 14 March 1998 part of train 235 hit the 1931 bridge,[109] requiring the replacement of 2 of the trusses with 2 x 36 m (118 ft) beams[110] in 2001/2[111] by McConnell Smith.[112]

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  98. ^ "New Railway Bridge". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz National Library of New Zealand. New Zealand Herald. 5 February 1930. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
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  106. ^ "Road Traffic Bridge". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz National Library of New Zealand. New Zealand Herald. 25 January 1939. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  107. ^ "Hearings Agenda pack for 30 April RLTP Hearings 2018" (PDF). Waikato Regional Council.
  108. ^ "One bridge, two accidents". natlib.govt.nz. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  109. ^ TAIC Railway Occurrence Report 98-105 (PDF).
  110. ^ "Rail Bridging (Ngaruwahia Rail Bridge) – Manufacturer from Eastbridge Ltd, new zealand". www.hellotrade.com. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  111. ^ "Schedule of Tranz Rail Resource Consents" (PDF).
  112. ^ "Tranz Rail to rebuild New Zealand rail bridge". ijglobal.com. Retrieved 13 July 2017.

External linksEdit

Timetables

Photos

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries photos –

  1. ^ "New Railway Bridge at Ngaruawahia". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz National Library of New Zealand. New Zealand Herald. 8 February 1930. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Steady Progress in Being Made with the building of the new railway bridge at Ngaruawahia". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz National Library of New Zealand. Auckland Star. 23 April 1930. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  3. ^ "New Railway Bridge Now in Course of Construction at Ngaruawahia". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz National Library of New Zealand. New Zealand Herald. 9 August 1930. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Bridge at Ngaruawahia nearing completion". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz National Library of New Zealand. New Zealand Herald. 14 February 1931. Retrieved 11 July 2017.