Southbridge, New Zealand

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Southbridge is a small town with a population of 720 [1] and approximately 260 houses, on the Canterbury Plains in the South Island of New Zealand. It is located 45 kilometres (28 mi) southwest of Christchurch, between Leeston, Dunsandel and the Rakaia River. The town serves mainly as a centre for agricultural services, but also has nearly 70 small to medium-sized businesses, a swimming pool, tennis courts, Southbridge Primary School, and many other attractions.

On 13 July 1875, a branch line railway was opened from Christchurch to Southbridge. Despite proposals to extend it further to Longbeach and Waterton, the line's terminus remained in Southbridge and it was thus known as the Southbridge Branch. Traffic was strong in the line's early decades; in 1914, two mixed trains and a goods-only train ran each way daily. However, the line entered into decline after the late 1920s. Passenger services to Southbridge were cancelled on 14 April 1951, and the line closed entirely on 30 June 1962. Few remnants of the line remain, though locations of level crossings can be discerned.[1]

Notable people[edit]

  • Colonel Allen Bell (1870–1936), politician born in Southbridge
  • Dan Carter (born 1982), rugby union player born Southbridge
  • Francie Turner (born 1992), coxwain who grew up in Southbridge[2]


  1. ^ David Leitch and Brian Scott, Exploring New Zealand's Ghost Railways, revised edition (Wellington: Grantham House, 1998 [1995]), 70-1.
  2. ^ "Southbridge cox steers for Rio". The Press. 27 July 2016. p. B16. Retrieved 27 July 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°49′S 172°15′E / 43.817°S 172.250°E / -43.817; 172.250