Friends of Opapa Station 1999 Newsletter







The guttering and the downpipes are well under way and should be replaced soon! It would be nice to be able fit in the toilet plumbing and the washhand basin coupled up to the hot water ZIP unit that we have got at our disposal BUT unfortunately we don’t have the funds for that amount yet and will have to settle for the guttering first!

The water tank has been cleaned and galvanised and Tom has taken the challenge to build the 600 litre tank stand that will be situated on the north side of the station in its original position – good on ya TOM Wheeler!

Watch out for Lee – could be the next ‘chainsaw massacre~r’

With the help of an electric chainsaw in the hands of Lee Hall the rotten wallboards, downboards and stud timbers were cut out and replacement units cut in after priming. The task was tricky and Lee himself had to resort to panelsaws and chainsaws. Painting in the Heritage colours after waterblasting the building will be the next task. The colours for the building will be the same as mentioned before – raffia cream for the body and Burnt brick for the window ledges and door frames and the barge boards on the roof.

To drop or not to drop!

Thanks to ray [Ray] and Joan Beattie we now have a long drop! In the form of an outside toilet with – washbasin to wash your hands – NOW there can be no excuse not to come and work because we don’t have a toilet! – thanks Ray and Joan.

RUBBISH – It don’t just go away!

Please help us as we need to cart away the rubbish in front of the two houses and convert that area into lawn and then erect the Opapa Sign subtitled Te Aute to keep in favour with the maori elders and retain the past name, this was bought about through Mr. Michael White who with Claude Hawea represented the elder Moari [Maori] peoples and asked that this be the case.


Wanted 8 persons to help lift and transport a hut!  Call Spud [Phone number withheld – KB]

Working bees happen if it is wet or not!  and to aid us with this is the Oxide Hut that was kindly donated by Melva and Stewart Barr will be uplifted to the station and used as a storage area for the timbers and odds and ends that are currently in the building so that we can clean it from top to bottom! With no interference.

NIBS – of a concrete nature are to be placed around the picket fence and at the back of the platform to give us an area that we can work to when come the time to reseal the area! The area around the back of the picket fence has been cleaned out and needs to leveled [levelled] so that we can sow grass seed and make this an attractive area also!

Spud Langley – Mike Betts – Ray Beattie – Lee Hall [Phone numbers withheld – KB]


Back in the days of steam, if the fireman hadn’t got his fire into shape by this point on the line he was in for a hard time, because Opapa Station, seen here with 611 ICE service from Hastings to Palmerston North, is at the foot of the formidable 1 in 46 sharply-curved Opapa Bank, toughest grade on the Napier-Wellington line. Once a crossing station, Opapa itself now has no place on the contemporary railway but the station building is being renovated by the Hastings-based group Friends of Opapa Station.

Photograph: Geoff Blackmore.

The views expressed in this copy are the opinions of one member only – and are NOT necessarily supported by the Friends Of Opapa Railway Inc.


[Address withheld – KB]
PHONE [Phone number withheld – KB]
CELL [Phone number withheld – KB]
e-mail MIKE<[email protected]>
President – Kelvin Langley
Secretary/Treasurer Mike Betts.


Winter has passed us by! A bit radical but a positive thought,

Thinking of positive thoughts – here’s one for you

Help me to always give 100% at work!
12% on Mon
23% on Tuesday
40% on Wednesday
20% on Thursday
5% on Fridays!

With that in Mind lets give another 100% during the weekends! and support our cause!


The past month or so has seen the placement of a sink bench in the main room, with a zip water heater, these soon are to be plumbed into place and at last we will have flowing water inside! Such mod cons!

The weatherboards – rotten ones that is! Have now been replaced, thanks to Lee Hall and the building is ready for a splash of paint after the usual wash down.

The guttering – thanks to Mike and Keith and his mates the guttering has been replaced and looks really great, we need to get the joints soldered and the down pipes fitted so that the water doesn’t get near the piles, or we will have the same problem as before!

Water tank! The timber is there for the tank, but we need measurements from the base of another tank as an example to take our measurements from – My thoughts – If anyone visits Ormondville, then go with a tape measure in hand and measure the base of the tank stand, I.E. height, width, spacing of tank base boards, thickness of timber, spacing of legs and in effect ANY dimensions that you can get. That way we can get the stand in place, (after we poured the concrete bases for it!)

Outside – The exterior of the station and grounds are looking great, the triangle in front of the houses is cleaned out (thanks to a donated tractor, Kevin Brewer and Mike and Keith and friends) but needs raking level!-  a lot of rubbish came out of that area and heaps of concrete blocks of various shapes and sizes which were placed in the old drain which needs to be levelled. The Triangle now needs to be raked level so that we can at least mow it – a project for one day perhaps! – I know that water lies there and the ground gets rather wet BUT lets get it level and smooth so that we can at least mow it and keep the weeds at bay! – If anyone can lend us a rottary [rotary] hoe for the job it will help us out a lot, but if not then we will have to rake it as flat as possible and be happy with that. – for the time being. Then fill it as time permits.

Thanks to Graeme Cross for donating his time and getting the tractor for us to use on the day!

Picket Fence – the posts are up and have been for some time! Lets get together and put up the pickets and rails to finish off this project!

Power! – not to the people

This is a major point and a problem, I have been given a quote for this job at a reasonable rate AND to put power from the house to the station utilizing a pole and putting cable to the main room of the station up to another meter board. This is going to cost us approx. $1300.00 I will see if I can get a grant for this from the Railways Trust, BUT if not, then I want some money making ideas! Ideally I want to see power and water flowing by summer!

We have the original meter box frame and an old meter box donated by a building recycler, I would like someone to take on board the challenge of cutting down the old meter box unit supplied so that it fits the original Opapa frame assembly. How you do it is not  relavent but the old frame must go round the workings and it must fit on the wall in the original place. If you are interested call MIKE and he will tell you what exactly he wants done with it!


SATURDAY 30TH OCTOBER from 1600 hrs.

The FOORS Inc. group intend to hold an evening at our Station for ALL members AND spouses & families/Friends to meet and talk to
Steve Jeffs

Steve is a loco engineer with NSW Govt Railways in Australia. Being based in Lithgow (Zig Zag railway country) and visiting N.Z. for 2 weeks on his first ever O.E.

Steve is an avid rail fan, an communicates with people all over the globe, Brazil, Chek [Czech] Republic, The U.S.A. and here in H.B. to mention a few! He produces video tapes for the people he corresponds with and has a great wit and superb sense of humor.

We will have a gas fired (no! not steam- pity) barbyque [barbecue] at the Station – So! Bring along anything you want to cook and the liquid refreshment you want to drink. There will be an electric jug available for Tea and Coffee!


Bring a sleeping bag and stretcher if you have one and spend the night. Yep! Others will be doing so!

Chris Smith and his crew of Kiwi Steam Video fame will also be in attendance and they ARE staying the night – whom will tell us of their experiences.

A small donation to cover electricity is all that is required to enable you to enjoy a great night.

YOU ARE GOING TO JOIN US – That’s great!

While it is not a necessity it would be appreciated if you could contact Kevin Brewer at [Phone number withheld – KB] and advise him of the numbers attending!



A Toilet! A bowl can be obtained from the house dismantles at a cost of $50.00 this being a -P- trap type bowl, we have a -S- trap type but it doesn’t fit and we can’t use it! We have the cistern an older type unit and it will fit beautifully. Can anyone donate us the toilet bowl? Please ring Mike if you are prepared to get this for THE GROUP!!

Down pipes – from the guttering, I don’t want to buy these at this stage as all the pipes are going to do is to remove the water from the piles to the low areas away from the building.

SO! I WANT! 10 meters of plastic pipes 75mm inside diameter or greater! Not too great though, and four angle pipes to join these together, with a T piece, lastly I want 6 plastic brackets to tie the lot to the wall! this will be a temporary fitting unless anyone can get us some metal down pipes, if they can! GREAT let’s have two down pipes with bends strategically placed so that we can tie these to either wall and once again drain the water away from the piles!

Here’s what I would like members to do!

Take on the challenge:

of finding the P trap toilet bowl!
finding the plastic/metal downpipes
Supplying a Rotary Hoe for a day
A small blow torch – for joining plumbing pipes!

Next working bee
Incorporating a B.B.Q TYPE LUNCH,
The group will supply the meat and bread – you supply the rest.
Don’t forget to bring yourselves, paintbrush, rakes or rotary hoe/s

Objectives of this working bee is to scrape loose paint, wash down the building and paint the outside. Nature being kind to us – I envisage that we will do this in a

progressive movement and start at approx. 9:00 a.m and continue to 5 – 6.00 when I would expect the building to have changed colour.

If by any chance there are too many for this exercise then the pickets for the fence that Spud is getting will need to be painted as well as the rails.


SAT 30th October – this year! – if weather is poor then we will put it off till the weekend after! – Keep your diary free – PLEASE !! no excuses. Only hard work and ideas.


We have been mentioned in various magazines and have a good profile to try to live up to! An interesting photo and comments in the Sept issue of RAILS magazine showing the South side f the Station. The issue of July 1998 gives us a mention also!

The copy’s of Hawke’s Bay Railscene are also monitoring our progress and keeping the railfans aware of our achievements.

thanks – from me to you!

I wish to thank Hawke’s Bay Rail Inc. members for their offers of assistance, and if you can help we would appreciate your offer at any working bees! Especially this one coming up!


We like most clubs and groups are suffering from lack of members, These members are needed for working bees and also their fees. These fees are the clubs main source of income and we need the monetary input as well as the physical input.

Please help get members or suggest how we can get them!

A hard core of workers already exist and without these we would not have achieved as much as we have done.

Thank you guys for your input- and please keep inputting.

any more material for the mag, please contact me at address inside – somewhere.

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Business / Organisation

Friends of Opapa Railway Station (FOORS)

Format of the original

Paper document

Date published

May 1999

Creator / Author

  • Geoff Blackmore


  • Melva Barr
  • Stewart Barr
  • Joan Beattie
  • Ray Beattie
  • Lee Hall
  • Steve Jeffs
  • K Langley
  • M Betts
  • Tom Wheeler
  • Michael White

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