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Old railway treasures found near new motorway site

16 December 2010

Old railway treasures found near new motorway construction site

The collective efforts of a Christchurch historic train enthusiast and the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) should lead to the restoration of two dilapidated heritage rail cabins found near the construction site of the Christchurch Southern Motorway.

The NZTA’s Regional State Highways Manager Colin Knaggs says local train enthusiast Andrew Wilson initially spotted the old cabins when they were on what used to be a piggery site near the motorway construction zone. It wasn’t until the NZTA's project team started clearing the site that he could see these cabins were an important part of our rail history.

”It appears the cabins were brought here from Britain in the early 20th Century. One of the cabins was used as a transportable hut and was moved around on railway wagons to provide on-the-job accommodation for workers.”

Colin Knaggs says the second cabin - a standard railway building- would have once graced the side of a rail line to provide shelter for track maintenance workers. It would have contained a stove to help keep workers warm during the cold winter months.

The historic cabins will become part of the Little River Railway Station Trust’s collection. The Christchurch Southern Motorway construction contractor Fulton Hogan was instrumental in successfully moving the cabins and worked closely with the Trust throughout the removal process.


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