Photo stands test of time

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION - By JOHN SUL­LI­VAN

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

Photo: ALEXAN­DER TURN­BULL LI­BRARY (PA1-F-239-08)

Trial run: Wellington and Manawatu Rail­way Com­pany bridge at Pare­mata be­ing tested af­ter its com­ple­tion in June 1885.

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