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  HOME  : Railways : Ghost Railways : Catlins Branch
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Some of the images can be clicked on to enlarge.  Click here for the South Island map.
I have joined these two locations on one page because, well, I felt like it.  And they both start with 'R'.
Old signal at Balclutha   NH: The starter signal was at the south end of the old Balclutha station, the Catlins branch dock starter clearly evident on the lower right. This signal of course is long gone, as has the dock – and the old station. The old station had a very big sign at either end of the platform “Change Here for Catlins River Branch"
  NH: En route: AB 717 hauled this excursion train, for the life of me I can't remember whether it was a picnic excursion or what – but there were plenty of whistle stops such as this one at Puketiro. 7/3/1964
Ab717 at Puketiro


  AB717 at Tahakopa
NH: Arrival at Tahakopa – the loco had just been decoupled and was heading to the turntable.
NH: Self-Explanatory – on the way to the TT – note overgrown state of yard.

Water vat at Tahakopa

  Ab717 on the Turntable at Tahakopa NH: Note manually operated TT!


  Thanks for the awesome photos, Norman! Back to modern times, these were taken on my Southland/Otago trip in early 2005. This one is sunset at the Balclutha yard. Balclutha station 2005
  Balclutha turntable 2005

Balclutha has a standard NZR 55' turntable that looks quite serviceable. Not sure if it is use though.

  Glint, tracks in the sunset Balclutha yard 2005
  Tunnel Hill Railway tunnel

This is the Tunnel Hill DOC walkway (DOC stands for Department of Conservation, in case you don't know), well worth having a look around. This is the "far end" from the public car park, it's about a 10 minute walk.

  The small Station building at McLennan still stands, along with it's good's shed. Keeping it company is the cab from a Thames Trader, two Landrovers (a series 1 and something else) and an HQ Holden.
McLennan Station
  Railway formation

Taking the road to Tahakopa, one travels up a very dusty shingle road. Often the old railway formation can be seem to the left of the road, some of it converted into farm roads like this. It's neat to see the old track route crossing miles of countryside, I would love to see some photographs of this line in operation (March update: Thanks to Norman Hughes, I have!)

  At the end of the line are the remains of the once-proud Tahakopa Railway Station.
Tahakopa Station 2005

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  (c) Copyright Brian Greenwood 2008