The collective efforts of a Christchurch historic train enthusiast and the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) should lead to the restoration of two dilapidated heritage rail cabins found near the construction site of the Christchurch Southern Motorway.
NZTA Regional State Highways Manager Colin Knaggs says local historic train enthusiast Andrew Wilson had initially spotted the old cabins when they were on what use to be an old piggery site near the motorway construction zone. It wasn't until NZTA's Project Team started clearing the site that he could see that these cabin were such an important part of our rail history.
”It appears that the cabins were brought here from Britain in the early 20th Century. One of the cabins was used as a transportable hut and was moved around on railway wagons to provide on-the-job accommodation for workers.”
Colin Knaggs says the second cabin - a standard railway building, would have once graced the side of a rail line to provide shelter for track maintenance workers. It would have had a stove to help keep workers warm during the cold winter months.
The historic cabins will become part of the Little River Railway Station Trust Collection. The Christchurch Southern Motorway construction contractor Fulton Hogan has been instrumental in successfully moving these cabins and worked closely with the Little River Railway Station Trust throughout the removal process.