Summit was a staging point on the journey between Wellington and the Wairarapa, trains marshalled in readiness to descend the Fell incline, or remarshalled after ascending from Cross Creek. Conventional locomotives were uncoupled from trains hauled from Wellington and Upper Hutt, Fell vans placed at the head, middle and rear, and one or more Fell locomotives placed at the head of the train. Additional Fell locomotives were attached at the head of trains for balancing purposes. Trains departing for Cross Creek were visible for but a few moments, Summit tunnel commencing within a couple of chains of the home signal.
H 201 at head of passenger train, Summit, 1950's. Note the signal box, right and Rochfort's Pass, upper middle. Photo: Nelson Stockbridge
Summit was not considered a public station, and consequently had no platform, station building or verandah. In latter years the signal box figured prominently, carrying the station nameboard and a notice stating 'HEIGHT ABOVE SEA LEVEL 1141 FEET'. A further notice sternly warned passengers not to alight their train at the station, presumably due to the lack of facilities. Summit never featured as a refreshment stop despite the brief delay encountered by passengers, Kaitoke continuing in this role until 1952.
Summit station seen shortly after the extensive alterations and remodelling carried out in 1903. Buildings included five railway houses, three to the middle right, two in the middle distance, and a signal box and engine shed to the middle left. Photo: Archives New Zealand1.
Station and track gang staff were housed at Summit, perhaps one of the more isolated and wind-swept outposts on the railway network. In later years the signal box had external bracing added to secure it from further damage by wind.
Diesel-electric locomotive De 510 on the Summit turntable, installed circa 1943. Photo: Archives New Zealand2.
Summit yard was substantially altered over the years to provide additional capacity and to better suit operations. The most dramatic change involved a deviation to the Wellington approach to the station, involving a substantial embankment and much lengthened yard. The original approach to Summit was abandoned, the remains of which could be readily identified in late 2002. A late addition was a 55 foot (17 metre) turntable installed circa 1943, whereupon tender locomotives of A and Ab class and could regularly work the route.
Cameron, W.N. 1992. 'Rimutaka Railway', New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society, Wellington, New Zealand.
Public Works Department Wellington - Masterton Railway Summit Contract, 1875. National Archives Agency AATE Accession W3409 Folder 53 Part 9.
Hodge, P., 1996. 'Kaitoke station file', in 'New Zealand Model Railway Journal' No. 295 pp34-36.
New Zealand Railways blueprint #24408 Summit Station Yard, January 1928.
Duston, Maurie, personal communication, 18 December 2002.
1 New Zealand Railways, Archives New Zealand / Te Whare Tohu Tohituhinga O Aoteaora: [Archives reference: AAVK W3493 B-7919]
2 New Zealand Railways, Archives New Zealand / Te Whare Tohu Tohituhinga O Aoteaora: [Archives reference: AAVK W3493 D-16751]
Initial destination for trains in stage 1 of the railway, the former station at the top of the Fell-worked Incline from Cross Creek.