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THE MOTUEKA-TADMOII RAILWAY ROUTE., Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XX, Issue 269, 11 November 1886
THE MOTUEKA-TADMOII RAILWAY ROUTE.
PUBLIC MEETINU AT UPPER MOUTERE. A thoroughly representative meeting to discuss the railway route was held at the Upper Moutere Public Hall last night, about 80 being present, including residents from Motueka, Moutere, Dovedale, Stanley Brook, Tadmor, Wangapeka, and Richmond. Mr W. H. Phillips was voted to the chair, and having made a few preliminary remarks he called upon those present to move any resolutions Mr Hurathouse said he should like to say what he had been doing in the matter. Some time ago an endeavor had been made to get the Government to make a suryey of the Motueka-Tadmor route, and after some difficulty they had been persuaded to instruct Mr Dartnall, the Resident Engineer, to make a flying survey. This he had done and the following report had been received : — Reconnaisanoe Survey for Railway via Richmond through Waimca, Motueka, and Tadmor to Buller. (The Engineer-in-Chief, Wellington.) Sir, — In accordance with your instructions of May 29th, I have made a preliminary examination of the country from Richmond through Wainiea, Motueka, Tadmor, and Hope, joining the West Coast line at present proposed by the Midland Railway Company, at the junction of Hope and Buller Rivers. Richmond to Motueka. The portion of the route lying between Richmond and Motueka was examined by the late Resident Engineer (Mr Blackett), and a plan and report thereon was sent to the Engineer- in-Charge, M.1., Dunedin, in August, 1878. On this portion, therefore, I shall merely quote his report which leaves little to add. I may say that I rode over portion of this, and checked the heights, where necessary, which were quite correct, and the route, in my opinion, is the best obtainable. Commencement of Line. The Richmond Station is the most suitable junction with the Nelson-Foxhill Railway, from which the route will follow, parallel with the present Railway, to a point 45 chains beyond Richmond (with this addition which is recommended, I will now quote the report of the late Resident Engineer having reference to the Richmond to Motueka portion; as follows : — i( And strikes thence in a westerly direction to the Waimea River. This will require a large span bridge about 500 feet long-, the crossing will be vsome 30 chains below the present road bridge which is 510 feet long, ihence the line will run on to the mouth of the Eve's Valley Creek, which is small and will only require a small span bridge about one chain long. Thus far the country has been virtually level, but for the next 5 miles it is hilly, and the works will be considerable ; the slopes of hills, however, are not very steep, so that the cuttings will not be excessive, but several heavy banks will be required. At the point marked A on the plan a tunnel about 1£ chains long will be required to save a long detour, formation level being about 20 feet above high water mark. From A to the saddle marked B there will be a grade of about 1 in 50, the height to be risen being about 393 feet, reduced by a tunnel 8 chains long, to 322 feet above high water mark. This grade will run up the south side of " Stringer's Gully " ; the hills are of clay mixed with a soft sandy gravel throughout, useless as a road metal or ballast; the cuttings on the road atand remarkably well at a very steep slope, From this tunnel to Motueka river no more obstacles are met with. Leaving the saddle the line will run down a valley known as "Broad Valley" passing Bnrke's (now Brougham's) Moutere Inn on the right hand side, and will then cross to the left bank of the Moutere river, on which side it will run for about 5 miles, when it will be advisable to re-cross to the right bank and keep on it to the road bridge over the Moutere river at Con the plan. It will then be advisable to run down the back line, between seotions 16 and 170, as far as the road at sections 163 and 182, where the line would curve round to Swan street, and where the Motueka station should be located, being generally in the centre of the village and at such a point that it could proceed up the Motueka river without much loss of distance, but if it is only made a branch line some modifications m»y be advisable.
From Motueka station the line follows generally alongside the road on the eastern bank of the Motueka river, requiring bridges at the Waiwero stream about 40 feet, Oronoko stream about 120 feet, Dove river about 100 feet, reaching the bend of the Motueka river near the River Baton, up to which, point there is no great engineering difficulty, the grades being all easy, and the radii of curves could doubtless be obtained 7£ chains. The present road would require diverting in many places, the nature of the work would consist of cutting into some spurs composed of clay and rocks, in other places on sidling ground composed of clay and sandy gravel ; and some embankments between the hills and the river bank, but none of the works are very heavy and the ground is nearly all open. On arriving at the bend of the Motueka river near the junction with the river Baton, the line becomes difficult on the eastern bank of the river where precipitous slopes descend directly into the river, composed of clay on the surface, and showing rock where the clay has slipped, all being covered with bush, the inclination of slopes being 1 to 1 in places, or even sharper, in other places somewhat flatter, this would be very costly to make and very difficult to maintain, and really unsuitable for a railway; the only alternative on this route will be to make two crossings of the river requiring bridges of about 600 ft each, it would then follow the eastern bank of Motueka river to its junction with the Tadmor river; 3 miles of this portion of route would be on rather sharp sidling ground covered with bush, the remaining portion in the Motueka Valley flat near the Tadmor being open, and very light work would be required. Ths line would then cross the Motueka river near the Tadmor with an ordinary railway bridge about 6ooft in length, thence follow the Tadmor Valley alongside the roa 1 most of the way, (excepting where it ascended and descended the terraces) to the lowest dividing saddle between the Tadmor and Hope valleys, which it would reach via the middle branch of the Tadmor, lying about 10 chains to the west of the present road. The grades obtair ed would be easy excepting the approach to the saddle where 1 in 50 could be obtained passing through the saddle with a cutting about 15 chains long, about 40 feet deep, and 1475 feet above the level of the sea, the lowest saddle being 1515 feet, and the saddle at present road being 1595 feet above the sea level. In ascending the Tadmor Valley it is possible that the river would have to be crossed several times to avoid sharp sidling ground ; also the road would require diverting in many places to allow the railway to take its place. The slopes here generally are oompoßed of clay mixed with sandy gravel unfit for metal or ballast, but as a rule good standing ground at a sharp batter all in mixed bush. From the Tadmor-Hope saddle the line descends into the Hope Valley where easy grades could be obtained not exceeding 1 in 50, the average throughout being much easier. It would be necessary to cross the Hope River either once or thrice on nearing the Buller to avoid precipitous slopes, the bridge about 100 feet in length joining the at present proposed line of Midland Railway Company at the Buller, about 1245 feet above the sea. The heaviest work on the line would be from 6 to 11 miles at Moutere hills. From 41 to 41£ miles opposite the Baton river, and from 60 to 75 miles passing the Tadmor Saddle to the Buller, where careful detailed surveys would be necessary, in order to select the beßt route. I may say that the heights, although taken by the Aneroid when checked by the Trig heights, and surveys of road, where practicable, were found to compare very favorably with them. Distances. The length of various portions of the line are given as follows : — Richmond to Motueka . . 22£ miles Motueka to Tadmor Junction 25£ „ Tadmor Junction to Saddle.. 18J „ Saddle to Junction Hope and Buller Rivers . . . . 8£ „ Total Richmond to Buller . . 75 milea „ Nelson to Buller . . 83 „ An approximate estimate of the cost of the railway is attached, which is exclusive of rolling stock or working railway equipments ; also a plan, and section of the line ia enclosed here with. — I am, &c. W. W. Dahtnall, District Engineer. The estimate of the late Mr Blaokett for the line from Richmond to Motueka was £75,274. Mr Dartnall's estimate from Motueka to Hope is £228,771 ; land : 200 acres at £20, £4000 ; 320 acres at £10, £3200. Total, including land, £31,245. To this ia appended a note by Mr Blair : — " This estimate ia too low. I think the total for the 75 miles including rolling stock and stations will be £500,000, or more likely £550,000. Mr Blackett, senior, also adds a note, estimating the 75 miles to cost £7250 per mile, or a total of £543,750. Since the receipt of the report and ascertaining that the Midland railway was likely to be started he had placed himself in communication with Mr Scott, and in doing co he had put what he had to say in a thoroughly business like manner, asking him straightforwardly whether it would be worth the Company's while to construct an additional length of line in order to tap more populated distriots. To this Mr Scott had replied that he was ooming to Nelson shortly with the Company's engineer and they would then (Continued on Third Page.)
decide the question. The best plan to adopt, he thought, was to appoint Committees to obtain all the necessary information, and delegates to meet Mr Scott. They must remember that however satisfied those present might feel as to the advisability of adopting this route, they had to convince others, and first they had better tackle the Company and if they could induce them to view it favorably, then go to the Government. He thought Mr Dartnell's report was very favorable, and as for taking the line by way of Motueka or any other way he looked upon that as only a secondary consideration, for what they really wanted was to get the railway over the hills into the watershed of the Motueka. He had prepared a statement of the population that wouldbenefit by the line being brought this way and this he proceeded to read as follows :— - Population : — Motueka, 925 ; Pangatotara, 400; Riwaka, 645; Pokororo, 124; Upper Moutere, 420 ; .Lower Moutere, 225 ; Upper Motueka, 663 ; County of Collingwood, 1873. Total of electoral district, 5299. — Bateable value, Motueka, £413,489; Collingwood, £211,893. Total, £623,382. This was valuable information but there were other statistics they should provide themselves with, and these the delegates appointed to night ought to obtain. He must; say that he anticipated difficulty with the Government, who were strongly in favor of the Tophouse route as being the most dircc' means of connecting Cook's Straits with the Sooth. There was the alternative route of the Rai Valley but the Government were dead againßt this, until he had suggested to the Minister that the Company might make the deviation by Motueka, and Mr Richardson then promised to consider it favorably if this were the case. But if it were absolutely necessary to go to the Tophouse the line up the Motueka might still be adopted, and the railway carried up the Motupiko. He was glad to see so large a meeting, showing as it did the large amount of interest taken, in the matter. He thought what they had to do that night was to appoint a Committee and delegates to meet Mr Scott, and further that if it were an expensive business the residents in the district should subscribe to pay the expenses of the delegates. If he were one he should expect to pay his own as he was a public man, but he did not think that they should all be expected to do so. He moved, That in the opinion of this meeting it is desirable to appoint four delegates to meet Mr Scott on his arrival in Nelson, show him through the districc and point out the various advantages the adoption of the railway through this part of the country would confer.! Mr Lindsay said Mr Dartnall's report appeared to him satisfactory, but still they bad only heard it then for the first time and it required consideration. He would advise them that it would be necessary to provide statistics of stock, acreage under crop, &c, and this must be done without delay. They should also show the population and rateable properties on the Blue Glen route to contrast with those on the Motueka line If the Company were convinced^ as to the propriety of adopting this line, he did not think it would be necessary to consult the Government as they would be compelled to give in. If the Tophouse line must of necessity be made, it oould be done up the Buller from the Hope. And again if this Company proved a success, it might be advisable to carry the line from Belgrove to the Tophouse to meet this one. Mr Hursthouse was afraid Mr Lindsay was wrong in stating that the Government would not have to be convinced, as any deviation was to be subject to their approval. Mr Lindsay referring to the different estimates of the engineers said he had seen so much of these engineers' reports trim-trimming to Bait the views of the Government, and they must not be altogether dependent upon these. If they could get the Company's engineer to go over the line he would be satisfied with his estimate, bnt he felt that he could not awallow the reports of the Government officers. He would like to have an independent report as to the distance from Belgrove •to the Hope. Mr Hursthouse did not think that Government officers told more lies than any other people. The statistics that were obtainable were compiled by Government officers, and they had to be guided by them. He had a letter from the Minister informing him that the distance by Motueka "Valley was ten miles farther from Nelson, and would require 25 additional miles of railway. Mr Mcßaeßaid he had hid some conversations with Mr Sclanders who saH that; the line by Motueka was always spoken of as " Hursthouse's line." He thought that if a shorter line could be found than that via Motueka it might be adopted. Now. was it possible to find a shorter route. (Several voices : Yes.) Mr J. Drummond said he too had heard that to talk of extending the line to Motueka would damage the cause. It should be taken from Upper Moutere through the Valley of the Dove, which would cave a considerable distance. If they were to appoint delegates to-night, they would obtain all this and other information that might be necessary. Mr Jordan said he felt sure the Motueka had no idea of standing out for the line going there, but would be satisfied if it passed through the Upper Moutere. But after all this was for the Company to decide. Jf it would pay to take the line to Motueka th «7 would take it there, if nob they would not. Mr Gilbert seconded the resolution moved by Mr i^uxsthouse which said nothing about the route but merely referred to the appointment of delegates. Mr Parkinson said if he had been consulted about rhe route he would have taken the line round ths Rocks and then across themudflatto the JHontere Hills. Mr Lindsay pointed out that a Railway League existed in K'«ls<rc> which was working in accord wit h. the Canterbury League, and he was afraid they would have to recognise them as opponents. Mr Har3thouse had no objectioa to thia being oalled Hursthouse's iine. He had once been nearly burnt in effigp iv connection with it. As for the Railway League, a snap of the fingers for them. They had not opposed this line but most certainly they had never givert any assistance. He might add that when iln Wellington he had asked leave to inseri. an alternative route in the plan. Mr Holmee, of Canterbury, said he did E.ot care if Nelson agreed \ the member for the Waimea said he did not care a rap, but he did not want the railway ; up the Lake wtvy lest ib should frighten his Bheep ; the member for Nelson said he must consult the Nelson League. He did go,. and the reply received was that though the Nelson League saw much in favor of me Moutere route, yet they could not approve of the deviation being insisted upon, so then he Baid to himself, " Well, Hursthouse, you must paddl e your own canoe," and co he did, and carried his point. Well, they got no assistance whatever from the .League, and now they were told the railway was an assured face, acd were they to sic still and let the Company carry out the present proposals withouli an effort to get what all the residents ia these out districts so badly wanted? Mr G. Win thought they ought to sink all selfish considerations, and work harmoniously together to get the railway taken in the right place. Mr Jordan said they musb remember that if they did noo get this route now these out districts woul;l be cab off fiom railway cornjnunicatiou for ever. The resolution was then put and carried tnuanimously. Mr J. Harkness said he had always been ,in favor of the route, and he and Mr McKae ,had written Borne time ago urging the calling of a pufclic meeting for the purpose >of advocaticg it. His own opinion was that the deviation should cot take place at Richmond, where land was so valuable, but two or three miles higher up, which mighl tend to lessen the expense considerably. Mr Drnnraond could bear testimony to Mr Harknest having been in favor of this route for a Lng time past. The following were then appointed as delegates to confer with Mr SooLt: — Messrß Hursthouse. Phillips, Drummond, and. J. Harkness. Mr White; of Dovedale, offered to supply the delegates with horses or any other means of conveyance in his power when in bis part of .he district. A vote d thanks to Messrs Hursthouse . and Phillip for calling the meeting brought 4ihe proceedings to a close.
THE MOTUEKA-TADMOII RAILWAY ROUTE., Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XX, Issue 269, 11 November 1886
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