A hundred years ago, the trip from Auckland to Tauranga would involve an overnight steam ferry. Today, it involves several hours of fighting through traffic. But, until surprisingly recently, there was a third alternative - you could take the train! This cache celebrates that bygone era. In discovering the long-lost stations of the East Coast Main Line, you'll be REALLY SideTracked.
The East Coast Main Line
Construction of the eastern section of the East Coast railway began in 1910 and, by October 1913, trains were running to Te Puke and, by December 1917, the line had reached Pukehina.
Pukehina was a flag station. The train would only stop to set down or pick up goods if necessary. There was a wooden platform and small shelter shed, perhaps like this restored hut at Matamau.
However, by 1945, this wasn't considered sufficient by some people, as shown by this article from the Te Puke Times from 4th May 1945:
PUKEHINA LABOUR PARTY
BRANCHES REQUEST TO MINISTER OF RAILWAYS
"An enthusiastic meeting of the Pukehina Branch of the N.Z. Labour Party was held recently. Among items of general interest to the district which they discussed was the need for improved railway facilities at the Pukehina railway station, the secretary being instructed to write to the Minister of Railways pointing out that in view of the closer settlement of the district of today the present accommodation was totally inadequate. The letter would incorporate their prayer that a larger shelter shed be placed there with seating and lighting provided, and that the whole area being cleaned up and as speedily as possible a siding should be put in and so save the farmers such a long haul for their manures."
From the beginning, the majority of traffic on this line seems to have been agricultural, with manure and produce being transported even before the line was officially opened. However, increasing use of road transport meant that the station was closed to passenger on 7th February 1959 and completely on 19th September 1965. Nothing remains of the station but its site can be seen from this substantial concrete overbridge about 200 metres up the line on the right when looking towards Matata.
About SideTracked caches
This cache belongs to the SideTracked series. It is not designed to take you to a magical place with a breath taking view. It's a distraction for the weary traveller, but anyone else can go and find it too. More Information can be found on the SideTracked Series website at www.sidetrackedseries.info https://www.sidetrackedseries.info
This particular cache is part of the REALLY SideTracked series which celebrates former, disused or heritage stations.