Tokarahi is a small village located in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand. Its location is a rural setting in the Waiareka Valley, inland from Oamaru. Economic activity is focused on agriculture.
For a number of decades, Tokarahi served as the terminus of one arm of the Ngapara and Tokarahi Branches, two connected branch line railways built to open up Oamaru's hinterland and encourage farming development. After the first line was opened to Ngapara in 1877, a side-branch was built to Tokarahi and opened in 1887. Its construction was partly used to provide work for those unemployed due to the Long Depression. For much of the Tokarahi Branch's history, a "mixed" train of both goods and passengers would run return to Oamaru daily. This service met a similar train from Ngapara at Windsor Junction, where it formed a dedicated passenger train and a freight train that followed at a slower pace. The reverse of this procedure took place in the afternoon. Trains to and from Tokarahi were often hauled by T class steam locomotives.
Tokarahi became one of the first places on the national rail network to lose its passenger service, with a bus replacement introduced in 1926. Due to its small population, low economic activity, and proximity to the Ngapara arm of the railway, Tokarahi lost its railway entirely only a few years later. The line was closed on 14 July 1930. Very little today survives of the town's railway depot.
The Elephant Rocks area around the village was used as the location for Aslan's encampment in the 2005 film adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, one of the Narnia books written by the British author C.S. Lewis.
- Branch lines with modelling potential: Ngapara - contains a map and brief history of the Ngapara and Tokarahi Branches
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