National Park railway station, Manawatu-Wanganui
|Location||National Park, Ruapehu District|
|Line(s)||North Island Main Trunk|
|Opened||9 November 1908|
National Park Railway Station is a station on the North Island Main Trunk serving the area around the town of National Park in New Zealand's Ruapehu District. It is served by KiwiRail's Northern Explorer long distance train between Wellington and Auckland. There is a licensed cafe on the platform.
At an elevation of 806.8 metres (2,647 ft), it is the country's highest station with a scheduled passenger stop (although the now-closed Waiouru Railway Station is higher). About 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) north of the station the railway performs the convoluted dance that is the Raurimu Spiral, one of New Zealand's most impressive feats of engineering.
Originally the station and town were called Waimarino (calm waters). In 1926 the New Zealand Railways renamed the railway station as National Park. This name had come into common usage, due to the station's proximity to Tongariro National Park, and it also served to avoid confusion with other places called Waimarino.
The opening of the Main Trunk Line in 1908 created a vast opportunity to log and mill the large trees in the native forests with 30 saw mills and associated bush tramways established in the National Park area alone. With the arrival of caterpillar tractors in the 1930s the extraction process was accelerated with National Park station having one of the greatest throughputs of timber in New Zealand. Today only one mill is still operating.
In the 1960s National Park became the railhead for all the heavy equipment and machinery for the Tongariro Power Scheme Development with local pumice roads substantially upgraded to take the heavy traffic.
- Names & Opening & Closing Dates of Railway Stations in New Zealand by Juliet Scoble (2012)
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