Friday, October 3, 2008

Avondale racetrain sidings update

On going back into the vaults to hunt up the sheep on the racecourse story, I found a bit of extra info I had included back in 2001-2003 while putting together Heart of the Whau, about the provisions for racetrains in Avondale (posted previously).

Apparently, according to the minutes of the Avondale Road Board in 1899, the rail authorities had installed a "special racecourse platform" on their land between Cracroft (Crayford) Street and Blake (St Judes) Street. (November 1899 when all this was being reported by the Board's clerk, was the first time Blake Street had been called that in 31 years, but I digress.) The Road Board had a problem with this, and they intended opening up Layard Street (whether they meant opening it up to development, or doing something about the part between St Judes Street and Chalmers Street that is still, today, just an unformed if still official road -- I have no idea.)

There were also issues with the raceday trains stopping at St Judes' crossing to let the patrons off so they could make their way down to the races. This practice tended to block traffic. The platform, and sidings, ideas were abandoned.

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