Topic: Athenree Railway Station (1919)
Athenree Railway Station closed in 1978. The station building was sold and moved to Waihi Beach. Recently it was donated to the Athenree Homestead Trust and moved to its present site at the Athenree Homestead.
The Athenree Railway Station building was erected in 1919 when the East Coast Main Trunk line was driven through from Waihi.
The Bay of Plenty Times reported on 13 March 1912 in a speech by the Prime Minister: WAIHI-TAURANGA RAILWAY: TURNING THE FIRST SOD. ‘The first sod of the Waihi-Tauranga section of the East Coast railway was turned this afternoon by Sir Joseph Ward... The construction of a line nine miles in length between Waihi and Athenree was authorised last year... The new line starts from Waihi station, proceeds easterly and south-easterly, through the township, crossing the Ohinemuri river about the end of the first mile, then proceeds up the valley of Waitemata stream nearly three miles, and thence to the Saddle, near Hikurangi mountain. After crossing the Saddle the line runs along the Waiau Creek to the east, with grade of 1 in 50, about three miles coming out on lower country, at Athenree, nine miles from the starting point. The line will later be extended along the foreshore of Tauranga harbour, crossing the Taupiro, Tahawai, and Aritane creeks till it reaches Katikati. Thence the route continues along the shore of the harbour, crossing small spurs and water courses, at right angles, giving a somewhat uneven line, and finally reaches Tauranga, about 40 miles from Waihi... There will be several bridges of small span and considerable grading as the country to be traversed is by no means level... The line will cost about £10,000 per mile, which is the average cost for new railways in New Zealand during the recent years... [abridged]. (Bay Of Plenty Times, 13 March 1912, p. 6)
On 8 August 1919 the Bay Of Plenty Times recorded that, ‘Railway construction has reached as far as Athenree, about eight miles from the Katikati township, and with more up-to-the-minute methods it would not take long to link up the district with the railway terminus at Waihi.’ (Bay of Plenty Times, 8 August 1919, p. 4)
On 23 October 1920 the Bay Of Plenty Times reported, 'Dealing with the East Coast railway the Minister reports that formation work has been continued from Waihi eastwards, the Athenree station-yard has been formed, as well as the approach road to the passenger platform, and a deviation of the main road completed. The concrete piers for Waimata stream bridge have been erected. From Athenree towards Katikati a commencement with formation was made in September last, and three parties have since been continually employed. Sixty-three men are at present engaged on this work. From Tauranga westwards some formation is being proceeded with to the extent of the manpower available.' (Bay Of Plenty Times, 23 October 1920, p. 3)
The buildings formal description is: 'Single storey simple box cottage styled building with shallow gradient lean to roof and rusticated timber weatherboards. Double hung sliding sash windows and located at either side of a pannelled double leafed main entrance door. Sash windows have either single or two light sashes. The words "Athenree" occurs above the entrance door'. (Western Bay of Plenty Built Heritage Inventory)
In 1978 once the Kaimai Rail Tunnel was completed, the Athenree Railway Station was no longer needed. The station building was sold and moved to Waihi Beach. Recently it was donated to the Athenree Homestead Trust and moved to its present site at the Athenree Homestead.
Bay of Plenty Times.
Athenree Railway Station: Western Bay of Plenty Built Heritage Inventory.