Home-Motu - From bush to grass

The Railway

The railway was officially completed and opened at Kowhai Crossing at Motuhora in 1917.

It took 20 years to build the railway line from Gisborne. Tools were pick and shovel with horse drawn side tip trucks and lots of explosives.

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They had to construct 4 tunnels, one on either side of Te Karaka, one at Mahaki (Otoko Walkway) and the last one at Matawai.
Major bridges were also constructed. The first at Kaiteritai, a combined road/rail bridge at Waikohu, with viaducts at Otoko and Rakauroa and finally the Motu River Bridge.

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The train operated six days a week with two trains a day. Timber, cream, stock and metal from the Motuhora Quarry and passengers went on the train to Gisborne.

Often, on a Friday night up to 300 People would gather at the railway Station to wait for the train, which often arrived late.

They would collect their groceries, farm supplies, cream cans, high school kids, mail and newspapers.

The line officially closed on 14 March 1959.
For more information refer "Steaming To The Sunrise " by Chris Wood.

By Jerome.

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