Mountainview Road (New Zealand State Highway 7) in Culverden
|Territorial authority||Hurunui District|
|• Total||22.8465 km2 (8.8211 sq mi)|
|• Density||18/km2 (48/sq mi)|
|Time zone||New Zealand Standard Time (UTC+12)|
|• Summer (DST)||New Zealand Daylight Time (UTC+13)|
Culverden is a small town in the Canterbury region of New Zealand's South Island. The 2006 New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings had a usually resident population of 420. This represented an increase of 7% or 27 people from the previous census in 2001.
Culverden is located on State Highway 7 and is roughly an hour north of Christchurch. It was also once an important railway terminus, with the railway line extended from Medbury across the Hurunui River to Culverden on 8 February 1886. It was envisaged that this route would become the Main North Line to Nelson and Blenheim, but a coastal route via Parnassus and Kaikoura was chosen instead. Nonetheless, the branch line to Culverden was extended beyond the town to Waiau in 1919 and it became known as the Waiau Branch. At the line's peak, when it was considered to be part of the Main North Line, multiple trains ran daily between Culverden and Christchurch, including the Culverden Express and a number of slower mixed trains that carried both freight and passengers. However, regular passenger services were replaced by buses on 29 January 1939 and after becoming uneconomic, the railway through Culverden was closed entirely on 15 January 1978. Little now remains of the town's railway except a loading bank at the site of the old station.
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