10 October 2013

The old Western Hutt line

Wellington rail commuters might occasionally look at the stumpy Melling branch line extending north from Petone to Western Hutt and Melling itself, and wonder why on earth it's there. After all, the main route to Waterloo, Upper Hutt and the Wairarapa lies on the eastern side of the valley. The answer lies in the map below, sourced from David Parsons' 2011 thorough book Wellington's Railways. The original Hutt Valley line, which opened in 1875 as far as Silverstream, ran up the western side of Lower Hutt and rejoined the present-day route at Manor Park.

(C) David Parsons, Wellington's Railways

Ultimately, the success of the eastern Hutt line, which was opened in 1927, sealed the fate of the western line. As can be seen, three stations were removed when the line north of Melling was discontinued - the old Melling station, plus two additional halts that were both closed in 1954. Belmont station operated from 1875 and Andrews operated from 1938. The latter had replaced the earlier Pitcaithly's station (not on the map), which operated from 1908 to 1938; Pitcaithly's was closed because it was decided that the Andrews location a mile or so to the south would serve a larger population catchment. (See the Minister of Railways' statement in the Evening Post, 9 July 1938).

Much of the land released by the truncation of the former western Hutt line was used when the Hutt motorway was built.

See also:
Transport: 'Whilst I write, a perfect hurricane blows', 9 January 2012
Transport: Christchurch commuter rail, 20 October 2010
Transport: Ohakune signal hut, 24 May 2009
Post a Comment