Saturday, August 15, 2015

Coal time

 (With the news of the last week with the seemingly impending demise of solid energy due to the usual combination of mismanagement, incompetence and greed, we step back to look at happier times on the coast. How we can trust people to run this country when they can't even remember where they live escapes me)

I've always had an interest in West coast coal operations, and what red blooded steam nut wouldn't. all those locos which lasted far longer in an isolated area with towering lush scenery and old ramshackle buildings.

There were 2 coal ports on the west coast, Greymouth and Westport. In this post we will have a look at the Westport station and wharves.
First up an overlook of the whole area courtesy of the 4th ed Tramway atlas.

Coal came down from Deniston, Stockton and Seddonville in long rakes of Q hoppers, hauled by a collection of Wb and later Ww locos. The section (untill it was conected in 1943) had a very small number of other wagons but 90% of the rolling stock were Q wagons.

First up the station from 1912. Even for a seemingly remote station its quite big (I suppose there had to be somewhere to put all those wagons). I was interested to see the separation of the wharfs. The goods wharf is on the right, and the lines leading up to the coal staiths, which I think lasted till the early 1920's.

 From the national library collection. More of a promenade than a coal facility.

 From the next section we see the other end of the coal staiths and the second coal loading wharf.
 The track layout is not overly complex compared to the other end of the yard.

And from the even stranger files.....

It appears that the coal wharfs were a prime destination for the well healed.


Lewis Holden said...

Geez Greymouth had a big yard back in the day.

Motorised Dandruff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beaka said...

Very Interesting photos.Just back from Aussie. Visited the Sunshine coast area and while in Hervey Bay, I walked on and took photos of a very long pier. Photos will be posted on NZ120 forum shortly. Early shots show the pier had a warehouse at the end and also shows steam locos hauling wagons of logs and coal out to end of pier for loading on overseas ships back in the early days.

Anonymous said...

Excellent photos, inspiring me to finish my own wharf scene. I like the cliff behind Port Chalmers and its jutting wharf, your model reminds me of it. But Westport wharf looks so great to model, perfect.


Anonymous said...

The well-heeled call water-side boardwalks "promenades".