KAI IWI TO WAITOTARA.
Curiosity led me to leave Eai Iwi and walk along the railway line now in process of formation between that place and Waitotara. The railway station at Kai Iwi is completed, and everything seems in good working order, the goods shed and station master's house being built after the approved plan of similar buildings in the North and South Islands. The approaches to the goods shed have been well gravelled, and everything looks like work. The formation contracted for by Messrs Collie, Scott and Wilkinson commences at the other side of the goods shed, and the work of bridging the Kai Iwi is being carried ou, I believe, as a sub contract. There are several piles driven into the bank on both sides, and judging from the nature of the ground the work will vary much as to the speed at which the piles will be driven. The piledriver has a fair fall, and makes on an average 30 (thirty) strokes per hour, while the distance which the piles are driven per hour varies from a couple of inches to as many feet. Leaving the bridge the line has a Blope towards the higher ground where the heavy cuttings commence. The scenery around is rather bleak if romantic and the sideling cuttings still bear traces of the bush falling and scrubbing which had to be got through before the real work began. There is one bank with 50,000 cubic yards of earth in it which was all got from the cutting above. About a mile further on there is a cutting about 30 feet deep, which, on the incline, gives a batter sometimes four times the depth of the cutting on the slope of the hill. The ground ia in many places very rotten, and the layers of sand and clay on the batter shew badly, not on jon account of bad workmanship, but because of the different layers of sand and clay being «xposed to the weather, when the sand gets washed out, thus leaving an ugly face to the work. Below the first cleared paddock on the'upper side of the line belonging to Messrs Moore and Currie, there is as fine a batter on the slope as is to be Been anywhere, while its height and length make it all the more worthy of notice. Leaving these heavy cuttings one gets a glimpse of the surrounding country, in bo far as' seeing the outlines of Messrs Moore and Curries buildings, and some nicely finished straw stacks, with the appearance of an abundence of excellent grass, which of necessity, or according to the nature of things, carries fine sUck. It might here be noticed that the gates at crossings and the fencing all seemed to bo completed in a first-class style. On to the Okehu the ground showed alternate cuttings and fillings, the naturel consequence of making a line along spurs. The remains of old camps betide the gullies do not speak of much comfort in the best of weather, but indicate the hardships endured by the men who follow up railway contracts. Up from the Okehu the ground becomes very rugged, one embankment for 5 (five) chains averaging about 60 feet iv height, while the cutting on the next spur shews a depth of 46 feet with a perpendicular depth on the hill of 86 feet. This will be a very heavy cutting as it takes so much of the solid hill with iti but it will be got through in time, although there will be some work before it is finished. The other cuttings between the Okehu and the contractor's store are in different stages of progress. On leaving the line to look at the store, there is a fine view of the country around Maxwell. Mr Handley's ground is then seen to advantage as the line has now ceased to burrow for a time and taken to ! the open country. In passing the store it shews an excellent supply of goods for general use, while the .contractor's have a bakery and a boarding hous« for the convenience of their employees, and everything wholesome and business. ike. The line now passes through Mr Handley's paddocks, and. if the town of Tewkabury ever comes to anything hig fine property must become very valuable if sold in small allotments. It is reported that Mr Pharazyn is to cut up his large estate here in small farms of 30 acres, and if this be done there may be a chance for townships of a sickly nature surviving a generation, but Maxwelltown and Tewksbury are too near each other Beyond the flat on Mr Pharazyn's run the cutting ig harder than on any other part, and it will take four months to finish one cutting there. Near this there v a concrete arch to allow the cattle to pass through to water. On Mr Lowes property the working is light, and there are eight drayg •mployed here to get the work finished before the weather breaks. There is very little done oa Mr Dempster's, with the exception of a little corner at the lake. On Mr Samuel ' HandlejV there ii a small cutting to I
finißb, nnd at Mr Johnston's ford a little filling in; and, with the exception of four cuttings, the heavy part of the work will be soon finished. Three of those are very heavy, one of them being taken out in three falls. At the far end there is a deep catting through high spurs. Thi< ground has to be made up from the last cuttibg to Iho height 35 feet, and brought ou; a distance of 20 chains. There is to be a large concrete culvert at the far end of this embankment 115 feet long, 9 feet in the bottom, 2| feet on the sides, and 4 feet clear in the centre. There 1 has been nothing done at the bridge over the Waitotara or beyond it, but what has been done in the time, and the way in which it has been done, re* fleets credit on the contractor's and their men, and gives the prospect a shape of certainty of speedily having another section of the through railway ready for opening. The different squads of men, under their respective overseers, were working at a steady stroke, and seemed a fine class of men ; while the men in charge ware ready to answer any passing question in a civil and obliging manner. The work is all carried on without mach ado, every man seemed to know his duty and to attend to it. The contract is about 12 miles long, and certainly does not partake much of the picturesque, but the whole line when completed will be very valuable in opening up the country, lessening native difficulties by causing a large increase to the population and giving an impetus to to permanent settlement.
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