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Mataroa railway station facts for kids

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Mataroa railway station
Mataroa 1908.jpg
Mataroa in 1908
Location New Zealand
Coordinates 39°38′57″S 175°43′09″E / 39.649169°S 175.719253°E / -39.649169; 175.719253Coordinates: 39°38′57″S 175°43′09″E / 39.649169°S 175.719253°E / -39.649169; 175.719253
Elevation 530 m (1,740 ft)
Line(s) North Island Main Trunk
Distance Wellington 261.15 km (162.27 mi)
History
Opened 11 September 1905
Closed Passenger 8 September 1975
Goods 22 September 1986
Electrified June 1988
Services
Preceding station   Historical railways   Following station
Ngaurukehu
Line open, station closed
  North Island Main Trunk
KiwiRail
  Taihape
Line open, station closed

Mataroa was a station on the North Island Main Trunk line, in the Ruapehu District of New Zealand. It served the village of Mataroa. It was 9.3 km (5.8 mi) north of Taihape and 9.64 km (5.99 mi) south of Ngaurukehu. Mataroa is part way up a long gradient from Taihape to Waiouru, beginning at 1 in 60, but largely 1 in 70 from Mataroa to Hīhītahi , so that Mataroa is 88 m (289 ft) above Taihape and 110 m (360 ft) below Ngaurukehu.

History

Mataroa 1911
Mataroa in 1911

Construction by the Public Works Department (PWD) was well advanced by 1903. By March 1905 a station yard was being formed and by April 1906 it was the railhead, with a pumice road running north as far as Makatote. As well as the tunnels (see below), the line from Taihape included a 70 ft (21 m) cutting. North of Mataroa, PWD trains ran to Rangataua by July 1907 and to Ohakune by January 1908.

PWD transferred the station to NZ Railways (NZR) on 1 June 1907, when the line was opened by the local MP, Arthur Remington, after which Mataroa had 3 mixed trains a day. Before that, passengers had been carried on ballast trains, or passenger trains during 1906-7 Christmas and New Year holidays, goods had been carried from 11 September 1905 and regular freight began on 18 May 1906. The line to Waiouru was transferred to NZR on 1 July 1908, so that passengers no longer had to change trains at Mataroa.

In October 1905 a £1600 contract for station buildings was let, but in 1906 it was decided an extension was needed, so in 1907 another contract was let for £827. That station burnt down in 1928 and was replaced in 1929, with electric lighting added in 1930.

By 1 July 1907 there was a passing loop for 55 wagons, a passenger platform with a cart approach, a loading bank, a 30 ft (9.1 m) x 40 ft (12 m) goods shed and cattle and sheep yards. A station building, fixed signals and stationmaster's house were added by 1 August 1908. The crossing loop was extended in 1957.

From August 1906 Smith & Donald's sawmill had a 2 mi (3.2 km) tramway to the railway. Another mill was linked by 1.5 mi (2.4 km) of tramway.

A cottage for railway workers was built in 1904, platelayers' cottages followed in 1907 and 1908 and 2 more state houses were added in 1954.

From December 1905 there was a telegraph line from Taihape, which was extended to Turangarere and Bennett's Siding in 1906.

A post office started on 5 June 1907, was operated by NZR staff from 16 July 1908 and removed from the station on 14 February 1969.

Mataroa had a station master from 22 August 1906 until 10 November 1967.

Patronage

As shown in the table and graph below, passenger numbers were highest when passengers had to change at the station, but then fell to an average of around 20 a day. However, cattle, sheep, wool and timber traffic was heavy. Of the stations between Hamilton and Marton, Mataroa ranked around 8th in importance in terms of the value of its goods traffic.

Mataroa ticket sales 1907–1950 – derived from annual returns to Parliament of "Statement of Revenue for each Station for the Year ended"
year tickets season tickets staff
1907 2
1908 19,395 21 3
1909 12,616 97 3
1910 7,364 63 3
1911 8,151 92 3
1912 9,179 112 3
1913 9,503 136 4
1914 9,363 134
1915 8,306 166
1916 8,392 173
1917 8,143 142
1918 7,477 154
1919 7,515 120
1920 6,978 136
1921 7,320 175
1922 6,724 179
1923 6,098 183
1924 6,545 193
1925 5,582 210
1926 5,654 258
1927 4,780 182
1928 3,700 114
1929 4,444 102
1930 4,417 111
1931 6,363 108
1932 6,009 53
1933 6,527 48
1934 7,446 26
1935 8,157 18
1936 7,507 9
1937 8,564 4
1938 7,518 38
1939 6,987 13
1940 5,974 9
1941 6,774 19
1942 8,452 14
1943 8,654
1944 8,583 1
1945 7,823
1946 8,736
1947 7,595
1948 6,791
1949 6,776
1950 7,078

Mataroa and Hedgehog tunnels

The railway follows the Hautapu River for most of the way from Utiku to Waiouru, but, south of Mataroa, the railway burrows under Motukawa to get more directly via the Namunui Stream valley, through a 660 yd (600 m) tunnel. Boring of the tunnel started in 1903, breakthrough was made in 1904, or possibly 1905, and it was completed in 1906. The tunnel was prepared for electrification in 1984.

In 1985 the 120 yd (110 m), curved No.12 (Hedgehog) tunnel, north of Taihape, was bypassed to facilitate electrification, reducing the distance between Taihape and Mataroa from 5 mi 79 ch (9.6 km) to 9.3 km (5.8 mi). The cost was $938,011.

Bennett's Private Siding

H.D. Bennett had a sawmill 1 November 1905 applied for a siding, 2 mi 30 ch (3.8 km) from Taihape. It was built in 1906 with space for 38 wagons and serving four sawmills. The locality is now known as Bennetts Siding.

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