Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Vulcan railcar crosses the Hokitika River


One of the 9 Vulcan railcars crosses the Hokitika River to enter the town on its journey from Ross (23 km to the south) in 1949.  A sign states "look out for rail car", but doesn't mention any other type of train to look out for although there were goods trains until 1980 when the Ross extension closed. The Hokitika branch from Greymouth (38 km) remains in existence albeit without passenger services, a notable branch line survivor.  The rail/road bridge was replaced with a road only bridge about the time the Ross extension closed.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can remember that railcar of 1949. I was living in Hokitika at the time, right across from the railway in the 1st police house behind the old Police station. Other rail traffic not mentioned in the blog are the many trains, hauled by a 'puffing billy' bringing up timber from the sawmills, and also on race day, horses arriving by train, not to mention the punters. It was a favourite occupation of myself and my sister to watch all the activity at the railway from the sitting room window of the house.
I am a native of Hokitika having been born there, also my sister, but neither of us has lived there since the end of 1949, although we returned there to visit an Aunt until we moved to Otago.
I still see the trains, but from a greater distance and was sorry to see the demise of the Vulcan railcar on the main North South line between Dunedin and Christchurch.

Patrick Dunford said...

The road rail bridge was closed 1980 and was not replaced until the 1990s, there was no need at the time as there is another bridge a few km downstream which was the highway route at the time and the present bridge was part of a highway realignment.