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Tramway to Victoria Battery - The Rake

1894

Waihi Gold Mining Company was investigating the Waikino site for a battery.

"Water-races from Waitekauri and Ohinemuri Rivers, also from the Mangakara Creek, have been surveyed to the site at the foot of Thorpe's Hill" (Mines Statement, 1895).

1896-1897

Construction of tramway. Locomotive "Ohinemuri" assembled and "busily engaged ballasting the line and hauling building-stone to the mill". Twelve iron side-tipping trucks, with 50 more on their way from England.

1898 Feb.

Victoria Battery starts. "Ohinemuri" locomotive.

1898

Second locomotive commissioned, "Victoria".

"After careful consideration it was decided not to depend on one locomotive, consequently a second one has been built in England and is now being put together here."

(Superintendent’s Report, February 10th 1899)

1900

Third Locomotive ("Albert") and 62 more side tipping trucks. Loop line constructed to allow rakes to pass at the half way point.

 

"A loop line to allow of the trains passing one another midway between the termini has been constructed.

"An application was lodged at the Warden's Court for permission to divert and use a small stream for the purpose of feed water for the boilers. This permission has since been granted.

"An additional locomotive of somewhat increased boiler power and 62 new side tipping "Hudson" iron trucks have been procured, which raises the total rolling stock for conveying ore on the railway to 3 locomotives and 122 side tipping trucks."

(Superintendent’s Report, February 19th 1901)

1903

"During April, one of the locomotives was derailed, but no damage was done."

(Superintendent’s Report 21st January, 1904)

1905

New locomotive "Waikino" commissioned at end of year.

"It was desirable to have a new locomotive of increased power for the transport of ore and general goods, in addition to the three locomotives which have been constantly in use. The new locomotive "Waikino" was received at the end of the year and has now been put together and tested, with satisfactory results.

"Additional rolling stock has been obtained.

"A short line connecting the Government Railway line with the Company's coal hoppers at the Victoria Mill has been constructed."

(Superintendent’s Report 18th January, 1906)

1905 April 2nd.

The first train of coal trucks reached Victoria Battery on the 2nd April. (Superintendent’s Report 18th January, 1906)

"The extension of the line to Waihi was completed a few months later and the line was opened for traffic on the 9th November."

(Superintendent’s Report 18th January, 1906)

1906

"One of the locomotives and several trucks were derailed during the year but the damage done was very slight."

(Superintendent’s Report 17th January, 1907)

1907

"Forty additional quartz trucks have been constructed at the Victoria Mill Workshops."

(Superintendent’s Report l3th February, 1908)

1909

Locomotive "Dominion" commissioned

1911

"With the decreased tonnage, one of the locomotives has been put out of service.

"We are now running two on quartz and one on yard shunting and haulage of goods to Waihi."

(Engineer’s Report, 31st January, 1912)

1912

Work commenced on the ECMT Railway extension to Athenree. The Mangatoetoe overbridge may have been built from this time on (but see 1923 entry below).

1914

"Tramways.—Repairs were carried out to the Main Bridge over the Ohinemuri River during the Christmas stoppage, and various culverts overhauled."

(Engineer’s Report, 20th January, 1915)

1918

A new boiler made locally is fitted to the locomotive " Albert."

1923

"Steel for other bridges was available by 1923 so that speed of construction southwards from Waihi could be increased.  Tracklaying commenced upon completion of the 299ft long Mangatoetoe Bridge over the Waihi Gold Mine Line. By April, 1924 earthworks and bridges to Athenree were completed and formation to 14M (from Waihi) was well advanced".

(Rails Over The Waikato - History of construction 1879 – 1895.)

1924

"Heavy floods during April caused an extensive wash-out on the tramway to Waikino, and considerable damage to some of the water races, resulting in a loss of 1½ days' crushing."

(Superintendent’s Report, 2nd February, 1925)

1934

The sixth and last locomotive "Empire" commissioned.

1952

Martha Mine closes, Victoria Battery clean up lasts approximately two years. Tramway abandoned.