MNL: Wharanui To Ward

Since the closure has occurred of the Tar Barrel Tunnel (No.21), maps have been produced for the entire section from Wharanui to Ward. These incorporate a number of changes that have taken place in this section relating to:

  • Wharanui, Mirza and Ward stations. Wharanui is now only a crossing station and the other two have closed.
  • The highway has changed greately since the line was first opened. Aerials vary between 1947 and 2016 over the section and show some of the changes made.
  • A curve easement between Mirza and Ward was completed in the mid 1970s.
  • Several bridges have been changed or replaced.
    • The original bridge at the Ure or Waima River was a combined structure with a shared deck used by both rail and highway traffic. New bridges for both modes were constructed on different alignments and opened about 1975 after which the original was demolished. The current bridge is numbered 133.
    • North of Bridge 133, the old highway from c.1912 until c.1975 was on the west side of the railway until it reached an overbridge and then crossed over to be close to where it is now. This overbridge became redundant when the highway was moved following construction of the new Ure Bridge and was closed and removed.
    • Between Mirza and Ward, the 1947 aerial photo shows that a bridge crossed over a farm access road off the old highway. This bridge has been removed at some point between 1947 and 1961, probably when the highway was deviated to its current location.
    • Bridge 138 immediately north of Ward has been reduced in length since the 1977 NZR Corridor Survey aerial photos were taken.

The photo gallery shown below covers this section.