NZRM has received a supply of historical aerial maps of Palmerston North from Linz and is currently adding them to Volume 2 of NZ Rail Maps. Those which have arrived in the past week are as follows:
- Survey 1575 dated 1963-10-16 covering the then-new Milson Yard and the still-open Palmerston North Central station in the middle of the city. These aerials also give good coverage of the short-lived Milson Junction and Roslyn stations, which only existed during the time the deviation was under construction; Roslyn in particular had a life of just five years, being essentially a “loop” between old and new lines just north of Milson Junction – the removal of the old line after the full opening of the new railway yards in 1964 saw it disappear rapidly. An image has also been obtained of Longburn Station which was at that time a three way junction due to being connected to both the original and deviation lines through Palmerston North.
- Survey 2057, an official NZR survey of the Milson station and yards three years after opening, at a very high scale of 1:2800. A good historical reference with a great deal of visible detail.
- Survey 2775, another NZR survey at a more typical scale of 1:4325 (this scale is practically unique to NZR station surveys), this is from 1974 and covers various sidings around Palmerston North apart from the main railyards.
- Survey 5071, a 1977 counterpart of Survey 8657, both being NZR corridor surveys of the North Island Main Trunk at typical scales of 1:5600. As with 8657, selected images cover the NIMT route from Palmerston North to Bunnythorpe. The ones of Bunnythorpe in particular will show this station when it was still open to general freight (it closed 1981).
At this time NZRM is waiting to receive a number of additional aerial surveys from 1941, 1942, 1945 and 1963. These will give additional coverage at reasonable to high quality of various areas including Linton, Longburn, Whakarongo and the PN central station. Put together all of these aerial photos will enable the NIMT Volume 2 to be completed for release in a few months time as part of this year’s NZRM work programme of producing all available volumes.