OAMARU HOME OF
NORTH OTAGO'S FIRST
SOUTH ISLAND, NEW
In 1872 Messrs Walken and Peyman contractors who
were building the Breakwater for the Oamaru Dock Trust, build a tramway from the
Breakwater round under the cliffs to the landing area. The Oamaru Dock Trust
stipulated that the line gauge was to be 3' 6" the same gauge as the mainline
was to be build in New Zealand.
In June 1872 the line was completed but it was
not until January 1873 that a locomotive was landed from the "Pretty Jane". The
locomotive arrived in pieces as was ferried ashore by landing boats.
When the locomotive was assembled it was found
that it would not fit the gauge as the line had been build with the measure been
taken from the centre of one rail to the centre of the other whereas the measure
should have been from the inside measurement between the rails.
Oamaru's first railway station was build in 1874
by Messrs J. Campbell of Dunedin at a cost of one thousand one hundred pounds
and was situated at the botton of Wansbeck street. When the station was
completed there were no passengers trains arriving or departing Oamaru so the
building was used by the Public Works Department until it was required by the
The above shows the landing area
with the rail running around the bottom of the cliff and the roadway on top. The
building in the middle left is the Immagatioin barracks. The white building
right of middle appears to be the Railway Station at the bottom of Wansbeck
Street as it was build by 1875.
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