All Aboard! Kaiapoi to Bennetts on the Eyreton Branch
The Railway Age in Canterbury began with the construction of the Christchurch to Ferrymead line in 1863. The Canterbury Provincial Railways extended the Main North Line through Belfast, reaching Kaiapoi in April 1872. The opening up of the land north of the Waimakariri River, with associated villages and industries, continued with the creation of the Eyreton Branch in 1875. The railway contributed to community, commerce and communication across the Canterbury Plains as the timber from the bush, flax from swamp, and wool, grain and people were transported to the river port of Kaiapoi and beyond. Today, villages such as Ohoka, Mandeville and West Eyreton. are regenerating and heritage is increasingly appreciated. This afternoon session will explore 150 years of Canterbury history along the Eyreton Branch: All Aboard!