Photo stands test of time
The directors of the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company knew the value of publicity.
Between 1885 and 1888, the construction of the line from Wellington to Palmerston North was documented by the prominent Wellington photographic studio of Wrigglesworth & Binns.
Here they have recorded the newly completed railway bridge across the Paremata Inlet being tested by train pulled by the company’s first locomotive.
The bridge, a five-span wooden structure on cylindrical iron piles, was constructed by Henderson and Company of Dunedin.
The bridge carried all rail traffic on the Main Trunk Line until 1960, when it was replaced by a concrete and steel structure.
The pressure to accommodate ever-increasing volumes of traffic has led to this spot being transformed so that there are now three bridges and roundabouts.
Story courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library
Trial run: Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company bridge at Paremata being tested after its completion in June 1885.