Paki Paki Railway History

STATION FILE

Paki Paki

Kevin Crosado

Part one

IN ITS LAST YEARS Paki Paki [Pakipaki], seven kilometres south of Hastings on the Palmerston North – Gisborne Line, seemed a sleepy semi-rural backwater, notable mainly for its archaic station building. But Paki Paki was a busy place in its heyday. What’s more, the industries generating rail traffic here were located well away from the station – useful for a modeller who wants plenty of operation, but is pushed for space.

Early days

Paki Paki (the name is apparently a contraction of Te Pakipakiohinetemoa – the place where Hinetemoa, caught naked while bathing, snatched up her skirt and huddled it round her shoulders) marks the end of the first section of Government railway in Hawkes Bay [Hawke’s Bay]. This line, running south from Spit in the then Ahuriri lagoon, west of Napier, was one of the [sic] those included in the deal with English contractors John Brogden and Sons.

Work started at the northern end of the line in 1872. Paki Paki’s station building was completed by November 1874 and the rails reached it by the end of the year. Land for the station site was said to have been gifted to the government by local Māori. The official opening date for the Hastings – Paki Paki section was 1 January 1875.

Presumably the station building was originally similar to the drawing on the centre pages of this NZMRJ. Note, though, that in 1947 the interior size of the office was reported as 13ft 6in x 10ft 2in [4115 mm x 3099 mm], while the storeroom (the wing occupied by the ladies’ waiting room on the plan) was 13ft 6in x 8ft 6in [4115 mm x 2591 mm]. Both rooms are shown as 13ft 3in x 9ft 3in [4039 mm x 2819 mm] on the plan. The lobby was reported to be 20ft [6096 mm] long, the same as the plan. The office portion was clearly altered at some time, but there is no indication in the NZGR files, which go back to 1900, when this was done.

Traffic in the nineteenth century seems to have been the usual agricultural items, although there was also a certain amount of flax milling in the area. This only amounted to around three wagons a month – it took two or three days for a horse-drawn dray to cart enough flax to fill one L wagon. There was only room on the public siding to work five or six wagons at a time.

New century

Locals made several requests for provision of a loading bank at Paki Paki. NZGR officials didn’t think this was justified by the traffic, but eventually, in 1913, agreed to fill in part of the waterhole between the station and the Hastings road, giving more room for local loadings.

The Inspector of Permanent Way at Waipukurau was instructed accordingly in April. He set his staff to work dumping loco ashes, rubbish from Napier workshops and, in October, spoil from the site of the old Napier turntable. The fill allowed the full eleven-wagon capacity of the siding to be used.

At the same time the main line through Paki Paki was being relaid. It would appear that the main line turnouts were originally 1:7½ as, in order to fit in a 1:9 turnout, the first loop was extended across the

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Havelock road at the south. The cattlestops were altered for the extension in October and trackwork was complete by January 1914. At that time the signal department was still working on shifting the south home signal.

The extension caused a few problems for staff engaged in shunting. Footboards were fitted across the south end cattlestops in March 1914 and in July footboards and handrails were added to bridge 204, just south of the station.

It would appear that distant signals weren’t erected at Paki Paki until 1915. In reporting that year on the porter’s request for a track and planks across bridge 203, a little further south, to reach the signal, the IP Way referred to the “newly-erected distant signal”. The bridge walkway was approved in December 1915, but there’s no record when work for it was done.

Freezing works construction

Big changes came to Paki Paki in 1904 when Thomas Borthwick & Sons started preparations for a new freezing works a kilometre north of the station.

Borthwicks initially applied for a loop siding off the main line adjacent to the works. NZGR officers, however, were opposed to introducing another stopping place for trains so close to Paki Paki. They insisted Borthwicks would have to bring their private siding into Paki Paki station.

Borthwicks then approached the Minister for Railways to have Paki Paki station moved to the site of their works. This was opposed by local Maori who, in addition to issues connected with their gift  of the station site, objected to the meat works “on moral and sanitary grounds”. Pakeha in the area were also strongly against the proposal. Most agricultural traffic came from south of Paki Paki, a dairy factory was planned at Turamoe, 0.8km south west of Paki Paki, and the existing station site was conveniently located at the junction of several main roads. Borthwicks were again told they would have to extend their private siding into the existing station yard. They reluctantly accepted, although they continued to try for a connection at the works site from time to time. Their private siding right, No 922, was signed off by the Minister on 3 December 1904.

Photo captions –

Top: 909 Goods sits in the loop at Paki Paki, waiting for KA.952 to take it south. The date is 24 October 1956.
Bob Hepburn

Right: The south end of Paki Paki station building photographed in 1975. Note that the station has acquired a water tank since the top photo was taken.
Kevin Crosado

Opposite: Paki Paki basks in mid-winter 1975 Hawkes Bay sunshine. House 56 is just visible behind the station building.
Kevin Crosado

Continued on page 24

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FRONT ELEVATION OF STATION HOUSE AND PLATFORM.

OFFICE

LOBBY

Platform fence

PLAN

Scale 1:64

End-elevation

Back elevation.

End-elevation

Platform fence

[Handwritten] John Carruthers

Cross Section on line A.B.

PUBLIC WORKS.
NZ Engineer’s Department.
WELLINGTON.

Standard drawing

Fourth class railway station

The original of this drawing was issued in 1878, apparently for use at Pokeno or, possibly, Penrose. It is believed to be a standard design dating from 24 March 1875 and is the closest match we could find to Paki Paki station [Pakipaki station]. There are a number of minor detail differences, however.

End elevation

Continued from page 21

The siding was in place by March 1905 and was used to deliver materials (including shingle from Awatoto) used in the construction of the works.

Siding changes

The first change to the freezing works siding came in 1906 when the Railway Department, at its own expense, installed a crossover between Borthwick’s siding and the main line just north of bridge 205/205A. During the busy season Paki Paki yard became congested with sheep trucks and the direct connection was needed for efficient working of meat trucks in and out of the works and for deliveries of coal from Napier port.

Even with this change Paki Paki had difficulty coping with the freezing works traffic. Borthwicks complained of having to move others’ trucks around to get at their wagons in Paki Paki yard. Inward and outward wagons couldn’t be crossed at the station. Safety issues arose after Borthwicks purchased their first locomotive and started shunting at night after the Paki Paki porter had gone off duty.

In 1915 NZGR’s District Engineer drew up plans for extensive alterations at Paki Paki. Two loops would be made available for exclusive use by Borthwick’s traffic and there would be a separate loop for local traffic. The freezing works locomotive would be able to work the company’s loops without interference from other traffic. Trap points and disc signals were to be provided to keep railway and private shunting separate. The works locomotive would be able to work the company’s loops at night.

It wasn’t until 1924, though, that renewal of Borthwick’s private siding right was made subject to the provision of this additional siding accommodation, at Borthwick’s expense. Estimated cost was £1134 [$2268]. The work appears to have been done around August 1925.

Originally NZGR officers planned to remove the main line crossover to Borthwick’s siding just north of bridge 205/205A. Borthwicks strongly objected to this and threatened to put all their wool and tallow traffic onto road. The crossover was spiked for a period, but following negotiations NZGR agreed to retain it with some operating restrictions (kicking or fly shunting wagons was banned, the company locomotive was to stand south of the crossover while NZGR locomotives shunted the siding and the siding was to be clear of other wagons). Borthwicks were also able to negotiate a reduction in the wool rate to Napier as part of the deal – NZGR Commercial staff were anxious to prevent road carriers using Borthwick’s business as a backload for Napier-Hastings traffic.

Works locomotives

Initially Borthwicks used horses to work their private siding. This was hard work, with an uphill grade to the station against loaded meat wagons, and a locomotive was introduced in 1915.

This was an ex-NZGR A class locomotive, built by Dübs and Co in 1873 as their No 655. It was sold PE 2 January 1894 to W Wilberfoss for £500 [$1000] and went to work for the Gear Meat Co at Petone. They in turn sold it to Borthwicks. By 1930 it was apparently having trouble coping with the traffic and Borthwicks looked at the possibility of shunting their siding with a road tractor.

This doesn’t appear to have gone ahead for by the end of the year Borthwicks had purchased Manawatu (Andrew Barclay No 1197 of 1909) from the Sanson Tramway. This locomotive had been out of use with a condemned boiler since 1925. Borthwicks ordered a new boiler from Barclay, but the works closed before Manawatu could be rebuilt.

After closure of the Paki Paki works the A worked for a period at Borthwick’s Aorangi works (at Feilding) before being rebuilt to an improved form by Union Foundries in 1939. Manawatu was repaired and went to Borthwick’s Waingawa works, near Masterron, where it was improved in 1955.

The end of the works

The Paki Paki freezing works came to a premature end with the Hawkes Bay

Photo caption – The first locomotive purchased by Borthwicks for Paki Paki, and the only one to actually work there, was this ex-NZGR A class locomotive. It was photographed while working for its previous owners, the Gear Meat Co.
Albert Percy Godber, Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand/Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, Reference no: G219 APG

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North
To Hastings
Crossover laid 1906
Bridge 205/205A
To meat works
Waterhole
Filling
Loading ground
Station
House 10
Filling
To Havelock
Old main line points
To Wellington
Bridge 204
Paki Paki station, 1914
Based on DE Wellington sketch plans

North
To Hastings
Bridge 205/205A
Loop points moved north
To meat works
Loading ground
Station
Urinals
House 10
To Havelock
House 56
To Wellington
Bridge 204
Paki Paki Station, 1925
Redrawn from CEWR drawing 34096 (June 1924)

North
To Hastings
Bridge 205/205A
Loading ground
Station
Urinals
House 10
House A1001
To Havelock
House 56
Swampy ground
House A1000
To Wellington
Bridge 204
Paki Paki Station, 1936
Redrawn from CEWR drawing 42480 (as amended April 1936)

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earthquake of 3 February 1931. The works buildings were flattened and fire broke out in the remains. Rather than rebuild on the spot, Borthwicks transferred operations to Waingawa. The siding at Paki Paki (including the company’s loops in the station yard) was lifted in 1935 and the rail reused in the company’s works sidings at Waingawa.

Today the only reminder of the freezing works at Paki Paki is a section of formation visible in a paddock, where the private siding curved away from its crossing of the main road to Hastings. A small group of buildings belonging to a plastic packaging plant stand on the works site, surrounded by farmland.

To be continued

Photo captions –

Top: This photograph was taken in the lobby of Paki Paki station in l975. It provides detailing information for the inside of the valance, the ceiling and the storeroom wall. Clearly it had been a long time since the building was last painted.
Kevin Crosado

Right: Another view inside the lobby, this time showing how the office extension was fitted in at the north end.
Kevin Crosado

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STATION FILE

Paki Paki

Part two

Kevin Crosado

Hastings Timber, Brick and Tile Company

Five years after rejecting Borthwick’s application for a mainline connection a kilometre north of Paki Paki, NZGR officers rejected another application, this time for a mainline siding connection 1.4 kilometres south of Paki Paki.

Around 1908 the Hastings Timber, Brick and Tile Co Ltd and Milburn Brothers Ltd started development of a brickworks in the hills just south of Paki Paki. Around the same time or a little later they also started quarrying lime. They applied for a private railway siding to the works but, as with Borthwicks earlier, NZGR management was opposed to adding another stopping place for trains. General Manager Thomas Ronayne rejected their application in February 1909.

The application was repeated in 1911, at which time the Hastings Timber, Brick and Tile Co Ltd was looking to sell its Paki Paki operations to a ‘southern syndicate’. According to a report in the Hawkes Bay Tribune, several tons of clay from the Paki Paki works claypit had been shipped to Dunedin to be tested for brickmaking – it would seem that a kiln wasn’t installed at Paki Paki until a few years later. There was a widespread belief that the clay contained too much lime for successful brickmaking and the paper’s company source was keen to suggest this had been disproved by the tests.

Limestone from the company’s hill quarries was also tested and said to be extremely pure. Lime had been railed to freezing works at Wellington, Wanganui [Whanganui] and Waitara and the company directors believed this trade had a bright future.

The problem was the cost of getting products to market. Cartage to Paki Paki station was prohibitively expensive and the facilities there inadequate. The ‘southern syndicate’ made provision of a railway siding a condition of any deal. The NZGR managers changed their minds and granted the siding in March 1911. It was completed by the beginning of August, covered by agreement No 1285 in the name of the Paki Paki Brick and Lime Company Limited. The siding consisted of a loop alongside the main line, from which a siding ran through a gate and across the main road to the brick kiln site. Presumably it was worked by horses.

Years of struggle

The company was rather less successful than its promoters had hoped. Development costs continued to eat up any profits and competitors could deliver bricks and pipes in Hastings at lower prices. In addition, like many NZ businesses of the time, company administration seemed to be somewhat amateurish. The directors believed the siding rental was just a form of time payment for the capital cost and should have ceased after a year or two. When reminded of the terms of the agreement they had signed, it turned out they hadn’t kept a copy.

Traffic volumes were very small. In 1919 the District Traffic Manager reported that goods dealt with at the siding during July and August amounted to 16 tons 11 hundredweight.

Top: KA.955 makes smoke for the photographer as it waits to depart the loop with train 937 on 4 May 1956. Amners’ loading bank is in the background at left, partially obscured by the hut.
Derek Cross, courtesy Bob Hepburn

Opposite: The south wing of Paki Paki station in 1975
Kevin Crosado

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[16.6 tonnes]. The previous year’s traffic for the same period was only three tons, which the DTM considered more typical.

By the time the private siding agreement was renewed in 1921, the company name had changed to the Paki Paki Brick and Lime Works Ltd. The siding gate was dilapidated and reported to have been so for some time.

Company finances were still shaky in 1923. NZGR was installing tablet locking of main line points in the area and, as provided for by the terms of the agreement, called on the company to pay the cost of tablet locking their private siding. This was estimated to cost £225 [$450].

The company manager replied that the works had yet to make a profit. The company had already had to liquidate twice to release dissatisfied shareholders and the payment would force it to liquidate again. In May NZGR management agreed to spread the payment over five years, with an additional 5% interest charge.

The company struggled on a little longer, but in 1928 the works were sold to Napier Brick Ltd. This company in turn went into liquidation in 1936 and the assets were taken over by the Paki Paki Lime Company Ltd. The new owner was no more successful and operations at Paki Paki ceased about June 1937.

When the private siding right came due for renewal the following year, the company could not afford to pay. NZGR agreed to waive the rental and instead make a shunting charge of 2/6d [25c] per four-wheeled and 4/- [40c] per bogie wagon placed in or lifted from the siding. By this time the turnout at the south end of the loop was in poor condition. The company couldn’t afford to replace it, so the south end of the loop was removed in October 1938.

The end for the siding came in mid-1941. There had been no traffic for two years, the siding in its truncated form was inconvenient to work by regular goods trains, and it was located in an unusually long tablet section in which any delays had serious flow-on effects. In earlier years the siding was often worked by the Hastings shunting engine. Strictly speaking it only had running rights as far as Longlands, but was run out to Paki Paki when required. However, it was replaced by Hastings’ first shunting tractor, TR.14 in 1936. This Drewry machine was landed in Wellington on 11 July, prepared for service and run through to Hastings under its own power, arriving on the morning of 20 August. Unfortunately the tractor was too slow to get out to Paki Paki and back between trains. From this time any traffic from or

Machinery House
Sheds
Original main line
Proposed brick kiln
Main line as pulled over
Smokestacks
Hillside
94¾ milepost
North
Main road
Removed 1938
Paki Paki private siding
Redrawn from DE Wellington sketch plans dated 1911 and 1936

Photo caption – 1947 sketch by Foreman of Works, Napier of Amners’ loading bank extension.

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to the siding was handled by regular goods trains, generally Nos 919 and 918.

The siding was closed and the siding right written off as terminating on 31 July 1941. The loop was lifted the following month, but the siding into the works remained for some years. Apparently it was finally removed when the Ministry of Works altered the road in 1953. By that time the siding had been long buried under tarseal.

Possibly NZGR was a little hasty as a new company, Amners Lime Company Limited (HW Amner had apparently been receiver for Paki Paki Lime), took over at the end of 1941. However, any production was minimal and stopped in 1942 when the building housing Amners’ machinery burnt down. The also had difficulty finding quarrymen.

Amners’ loading bank

Amners weren’t ready to start full-scale production (expected to be 40-50 tons a day; three or four LA loads) until the end of 1944. NZGR management weren’t prepared to reinstate the private siding, but were quite happy to rent Amners an area of land at Paki Paki station on which they could erect a high-level loading bank. The Wellington District Engineer suggested to Amners that the combination of a hydraulic tipping lorry and the bank would be the cheapest way of handling their traffic.

Amners accepted the recommendation in January 1945, signed up and started work straight away. For the front studs they used old street tram rails at 2 foot [600mm] centres, backed up by 2 in [50mm] boards. The bank was 25 ft [7600mm] wide, 41 ft [12500mm] deep, 5ft [1500mm] high and 6 ft 3 in [1900mm] back from the siding centre line.

To facilitate loading Amners built, without authorisation, a removable extension to the loading bank. This consisted of wooden planks fixed to iron brackets which hooked over the top cap rail at the front of the loading bank and rested on an angle iron welded to the front of the rail stanchions. The extension was normally fitted in the morning and removed at night. It dangerously reduced clearances and had to be removed if the siding was shunted during the day. The District Civil Engineer agreed to let Amners continue using the extension, provided it was only fitted by arrangement with the tablet porter and only while he was on duty.

Guards complained about dust from wagons of lime blowing back into their vans. To overcome this arrangements were made in 1952 to run a pipe to Amners’ loading bank from an artesian bore just north of the main gate into the station yard. After loading wagons Amners’ drivers used a small portable pump to damp down the lime.

Small quantities of lime were railed out of Paki Paki right up until the station closed. The quarry site is now operated by Firth Industries, with all production transported by road.

To be continued.

Photo captions –

Top: Train 937 the mid-morning Napier – Palmerston North goods, waits in the loop for work train WT10 hauled by AB.816 during the 1950s. Amners’ quarry is visible on the hillside at right.
Bob Hepburn

Below: Train 942 headed by KA951 waits south of the crossing in September 1957. Amners quarry can be seen above the van, which is standing on bridge 204.
Bob Hepburn

Opposite top: Train 933 worked by KA.931 waits in the loop in 1957. Amners’ loading bank is in the left background.
Bob Hepburn

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STATION FILE

Paki Paki

Part three

Kevin Crosado

Station platform

Like most smaller stations Paki Paki spent much of its life with a gravel-surfaced platform. In September 1938 it was reported to be in bad condition and repairs were requested. Almost a year later the local Ganger carried out temporary repairs, but unfortunately his solution was to fill in the holes with ashes. These were picked up by the wind and blown into the station building, leading to more complaints. The Inspector of Permanent Way at Napier was instructed to resurface the platform with gravel in August 1939, but it wasn’t until December, and more complaints, that the work was done by a Havelock North contractor. A more permanent job was done after the war, with Hawke’s Bay Asphalt rolling the platform, spraying with Petone Gasworks tar and blinding the surface with sand in April 1946.

Station building

In January 1946 the Wellington District Engineer reported that the lobby and store room of the station building at Paki Paki were in poor condition and not worth repairing. The tablet room was newer and in good order. He proposed rebuilding and reducing the size of the structure, but the District Traffic Manager was unsure what facilities would be required. A wood processing plant and substantial state housing area were being mooted at Paki Paki, so he considered only urgent repairs would be justified until the situation became clearer.

These repairs weren’t done and the prospect of new traffic had evidently disappeared by the time the DE raised the matter again in the middle of the following year. This time the DTM reported that, while Paki Paki was barely adequate for its then current role as a switch-out tablet station, it was larger than would be required if a proposed centralised traffic control scheme went ahead. He recommended rebuilding as a shelter shed only, with provision for weekend passenger booking. A tablet hut could be provided if CTC didn’t go ahead straight away.

This time it was the DE who was reluctant to do anything until the future was clearer and in November 1947 he instructed the Napier Foreman of Works to replace the decayed weatherboards on the back of the building and give it general repairs, a repack and a repaint to carry it a few more years. However, staff shortages meant this took some time to be carried out. In December 1948 the building’s condition led the Napier Traffic Inspector to complain:

The Station Agent at Paki Paki recently drew my attention to the nuisance of birds in the waiting lobby at this station.

The birds are apparently obtaining access to the loft of the station building by way of holes in the basement or under the eaves, mating and dying without being able to find a way out. Offensive odours are at times

Top: No 916 Palmerston North-Napier goods, headed by 755 and another unidentified DG, waits in the loop at Paki Paki in 1957. The station building is visible in the left background.
Bob Hepburn

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prevalent and dead birds fall from the ceiling by way of the large cracks.

The loft of this building appears to require clearing of straw and holes being blocked.

The POW agreed that extensive maintenance was required, but it still took time to be done. Following further complaints, the POW reported in July 1949 that he hoped to have the work done shortly. The Traffic Inspector complained about the dead birds again in December. As there are no further complaints on file, the building was presumably repaired shortly afterwards.

After this the threats to the building receded. The most significant development regarding the building recorded on the DE’s file was the provision in 1954 of a hot point and electric jug for Hastings staff relieving at Paki Paki. This could require them to be on duty for up to 13½ hours at a stretch – but the £6 [$12] expenditure had to go all the way to the General Manager for approval first.

The Paki Paki station building met its end early in 1986 when someone attempted to burn it down. The badly damaged building was demolished shortly afterwards. Somewhat ironically the last entry on the DE’s file concerned fire protection work undertaken in 1965.

Yard works

For some time after the freezing works trackage was removed, Paki Paki yard saw only routine maintenance. In July 1942 the stop blocks on the siding were moved out slightly, increasing standing room from 32 to 34 18ft 6 in wagons. In March 1950 two turnouts were renewed and the siding was resleepered (at this time the 1:7½ 53lb turnout at the north end of the siding was renewed in 70lb rail, but was short lived, being renewed again about 1959). Preparations in 1953 for the royal tour saw the north end main line 1:9 turnout renewed in 85lb rail (but the track around it apparently remained 70lb OBS) – the south end turnout wasn’t upgraded from 70lb to 85lb rail until the yard rearrangement six years later.

More significant changes were plotted in the mid-fifties. The Hawkes Bay railway system was suffering badly from congestion, leading to frequent late running of trains. Paki Paki was one of the stations

Photo captions – Three views of Paki Paki in winter 1975. The top photo shows the north end of the station building and the signal lever frame. At centre is the tablet exchanger, with the tarpaulin covering the station agent’s jigger just visible at left. The right hand view shows the inside of the station lobby, looking south.
Three photographs: Kevin Crosado

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Monday-Saturday trains in 1952

From Working Timetable Amendment effective 2 November 1952, courtesy NZ Railway & Locomotive Society Archives

12 am   3 am   6 am   9 am   12 pm   3 pm   6 pm   9 pm   12 am

Napier
Awatoto
Awatoto Shingle Co
Clive
Whakatu
Tomoana
Hastings
NZ Fruitgrs Fed Sdg
Longlands
Paki Paki
Poukawa
Te Hauke
Opapa
Top Opapa Gde Sdg
Pukehou
Otane

Down trains –

907RR   Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fri   Napier-Palmerston North Goods
903   Tu, We, Th, Fri, Sat   Napier-Palmerston North Goods
933RR   Tu, We, Th, Fri, Sat   Napier-Palmerston North Goods
909   Mo – Sat   Napier-Palmerston North Goods
975   Sat   to Wellington Rail Car
913   Mo, We, Fri   to Wellington Express
915   Mo – Sat   Napier-Palmerston North Goods
937   Mo – Sat   Napier-Palmerston North Goods
931   Tu, Th, Sat   to Wellington Express
939   Mo – Sat   Napier-Palmerston North Goods
935   Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fri   Napier-Palmerston North Goods
941   Tu, We, Th, Fri, Sat   Napier-Palmerston North Goods

Up trains –

936   Tu, We, Th, Fri, Sat   Palmerston North-Napier Goods
938   Tu, We, Th, Fri, Sat   Palmerston North-Napier Goods
942   Tu, We, Th, Fri, Sat   Palmerston North-Napier Goods
902   Mo – Sat   Palmerston North-Napier Goods
904RR   Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fri   Palmerston North-Napier Goods
912 Tu, Th, Sat   Passenger
916   Mo – Sat   Palmerston North-Napier Goods
950RR   Tu, We, Th, Fri, Sat   Palmerston North-Napier Goods
612/618   Mo, We, Fri, Sat   Express (612 = Mo, We, Fri   Wellington-Gisborne Express. Only ran to Napier if 958RR ran on Mo, We or Fri)
958RR   Mo – Sat   Wellington-Gisborne Express
932   Mo – Sat   Palmerston North-Napier Goods
934   Mo – Sat   Palmerston North-Napier Goods

particularly affected, the result of an unusually long tablet section and the Opapa bank to the south, while to the north the main line was regularly blocked by shunting at the busy, but poorly laid out, Longlands and Whakatu stations. Although only four crossings were scheduled at Paki Paki each day, in practice there were generally more. Increasing sizes meant that trains were often too long to fit the crossing loop, so they had to be broken up to accommodate part on the back road. CTC was planned between Napier and Waipukurau and it was proposed to alter Paki Paki ahead of time to fit this scheme.

The original plan was to extend the crossing loop northwards on the old freezing works formation so it could hold 100 18ft 6 in wagons instead of its then 56 wagon capacity. The south end turnout to the siding would also be moved north. This would reduce the back road capacity from 34 to 28 wagons, but as no more than ten wagons were ever lifted by any one train and it would provide room to shunt the siding without encroaching onto the main line this was considered acceptable. At the same time, motor points and colour light signals would be installed ready for the CTC system.

In practice it soon became apparent that this scheme would disadvantage Amners. They would be forced to move their loading bank northwards, yet would be left able to work fewer wagons. Following discussions between Napier engineer Dave Early and Latham Amner, it was agreed that the loading bank and siding would be left in their existing position. The south end main line turnout would be moved 150ft [46 m] south and the new position of the north end turnout would be 100 ft [30 m] south of that originally proposed. Amner agreed to provide filling for the southern extension free of charge to the railways department, although the department would pay for hire of his D4 Cat.

Work (estimated to cost £2,687 [$5374] for the loop extension and £10,700[$21,400] for motor points and colour light signals) was approved in August 1957 and was expected to be completed in February 1958. In practice, the loop extension wasn’t finished until March 1959 and NZGR developed cold feet over the point motors, colour light signals and CTC – Paki Paki’s semaphores survived to the station’s end.

At this time the road to Havelock North, crossing the line at the south end of Paki Paki, was a secondary route, carrying only about 300 vehicles a day. However the Hawkes Bay County was in the process of widening and sealing the road: it intended to make the route through Havelock North the main approach to Napier, bypassing Hastings. Shunting movements at the south end of Paki Paki would pass over the crossing, while visibility was restricted by the station building and wagons at the lime company’s loading bank. The local engineer recommended providing flashing lights and warning bells in conjunction with the loop extension, but it’s not clear whether, in fact, they were installed at this time.

Paki Paki closed to all traffic around 1991. The two loops were removed in 1992.

Jiggers

Following extension of the crossing loop the distance from the station to the down main line points was approximately 600

30   NZ MODEL RAILWAY JOURNAL   DECEMBER 2002

yards [549 m]. There was insufficient room on the formation to provide a bicycle track for the station agent to reach the points (which still had to be opened and closed by hand) and the cost of moving fences and providing more fill was considered excessive. Accordingly, arrangements were made in August 1959 for the IP Way at Napier to transfer an old pull trolley to the station agent. This three-wheel machine, fitted with the early turned wood spoke wheels, was still in use in the mid-eighties, but its fate when the station closed is unknown.

In the fifties Hastings staff relieved at Paki Paki at least one day each week, along with emergencies plus sick and annual leave as required. Train and bus services were inconvenient, so they cycled out and were paid travelling time plus a bicycle allowance. They weren’t keen on cycling along a busy highway, particularly at night, so in November 1953 the local branch of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants asked to have a motor trolley provided. This was approved, but spare trolleys were scarce and it’s unclear if or when it appeared.

To be continued.

Photo captions –

Top: Paki Paki in late 1986, after the station building had been removed.
Rails

Right: The north end of Paki Paki crossing loop photographed around 1990, shortly before the station closed. Paki Paki was still generating a small amount of traffic, with some wagons having been lifted earlier in the day.
Gavin Sowry

[www].railmodel,org.nz NZ MODEL RAILWAY JOURNAL   DECEMBER 2002   31

STATION FILE

Paki Paki

Part four

Kevin Crosado

IT WAS WET IN 1897, damned wet. The rain started on Good Friday and two days later the Ngaruroro River broke its banks at Fernhill, eight kilometres north-west of Hastings. Floodwaters spread over the entire plain. At Paki Paki the approaches to the existing bridges south of the station were washed out, as was part of the formation just north of the station yard. The adjacent land was flooded to a depth of more than a metre.

In the clean-up that followed, the two existing bridges (renumbered 203 and 204 a few years later) were renewed and considerably lengthened while a new bridge (No 108A, renumbered 205 early in the new century) was erected at the site of the formation washout. When the freezing works was built, this new bridge was widened to take the private siding (with the extension numbered 205A) and later loop extensions brought it within station limits.

River protection works prevented further flooding. Bridge 205/205A never passed any significant volume of water, while the stream from the Opapa area flowing under bridges 203 and 204 never rose more than a metre. By the early 1930s all three bridges were in poor condition. All the piers in bridge 203 required renewal, as did most of the piers in bridge 204 (two had been renewed in 1929). The decking on bridge 205 was considered a fire risk.

Accordingly, in 1936 the timber bridges 203 and 204 were replaced by shorter steel structures. The 25.2 metre, four-span, bridge 203 was renewed as two six-metre rolled steel spans. The 55.6 metre, nine-span, bridge 204 was renewed as a 6.7 metre rolled steel span flanked by a pair of 6.3 metre spans. Bridge 205 was replaced by a concrete pipe culvert. Bridge 204 still exists, but 203 has gone, presumably replaced by a culvert.

References

Archives New Zealand

R, R3, W2278, 04/1516. Application for private siding access near Paki Paki.
R, R3, W2278, 09/803. Paki Paki Brick & Lime Coy’s Private Siding.
R-W3, 2091. Paki Paki – Station yard and Building.
R-W3, 10857. Bridge No 205 Napier Line.
R-W3, 15394. Paki Paki Waterservice.
R-W3, 18725. Paki Paki – Loading bank for Amner Lime Coy.

NZ Railway & Locomotive Society Archives

DTM Wgtn 4154/7. Paki Paki Lime.
CCE 4881 Pt 1. Bridges Wgton Dist General.
CCE 23137/25. Bridge Renewal Programme – Wgtn Dist.
ECG Fletcher, ‘Spit to Paki Paki’, NZ
Railway Observer, No 139
ECG Fletcher, ‘Spit to Paki Paki’, NZ
Revisited’, NZ Railway Observer, No 232

Top: No 915, Monday to Saturday Napier Palmerston North goods, headed by K.909 waits on the main line at Paki Paki in 1960.
Bob Hepburn

28   NZ MODEL RAILWAY JOURNAL   FEBRUARY 2003

Bridge 205 sketched by the Wellington-Foreman of Works about April 1912.

R-W3, 10857 [Archives New Zealand/Te Whare Tohu Tuhituhinga O Aotearoa, Head Office, Wellington]

 

Bridge No 205 @ Paki Paki

[..] centre beam added

[www].railmodel.org.nz   NZ MODEL RAILWAY JOURNAL   FEBRUARY 2003   29

Top: Pier and corbel detail on bridge 204 at Paki Paki.

Centre: Top View of bridge 204 and its walkways, looking towards Paki Paki.

Bottom: Detail of the wooden ballast guard and end pier on bridge 204. A neighbourhood accountant supervises the photographic operations.

All views taken in Winter 1975.

Three photographs: Kevin Crosado

30   NZ MODEL RAILWAY JOURNAL   FEBRUARY 2003

Original digital file

SankoPJ2164_PakiPakiRailway.pdf

Business / Organisation

Pakipaki Railway Station

Date published

2000-2003

Format of the original

Magazine articles

Creator / Author

  • Kevin Crosado

Publisher

NZ Model Railway Journal

Acknowledgements

Published with permission of Author and publisher

People

  • John Carruthers
  • Derek Cross
  • Albert Percy Godber
  • Bob Hepburn
  • Thomas Ronanyne
  • Gavin Sowry

Accession number

481539

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