Marton Sash and Door

An enjoyable short ride for most ages and abilities, this loop takes you back in time via a bush tramway dating back to the early logging days. Named after the Marton Sash and Door logging company, the tramway was built for locomotives to take logs from the forest and transport them through to the town of Marton, south of the plateau.

Leaving from the railway station at National Park village, the trail heads south on Fishers Road, beside the main trunk railway line, then climbs up to meet the old bush tramway line. The tramway offers thoroughly enjoyable riding through the forest. Scattered along the way are various relics of the era including the remains of log bridges, a small wood dam, pumice cuttings and rail irons. A signposted fork offers an easier and harder link through to Erua Road, from where the trail follows a series of tracks and roads back to National Park village.  

Highlights

  • bush tramway relics
  • lovely forest riding
  • family friendly

History & Background

The Marton Sash and Door Company operated logging and sawmilling operations in National Park and Erua from 1925 until 1957. As was typical of the era, small service towns and bush tramways sprouted up across the land when native timber was logged. As modern and economical technology provided alternative methods of logging, these tramways were left to disappear back into the landscape.

The area was rediscovered in the early 2000’s and nurtured back to health by local iwi and communities. Now flourishing with regenerating sub-alpine bush, cyclists benefit from the gentle riding tracks created from the former tramway cuttings and routes.

Trail Route

Start your journey from the Pou at the Park and Ride at National Park Village. From the Pou, follow the markers over the railway line and turn left to ride parallel with the maintrunk line.

 Entering the loop track through a set of cycle squeeze bars, turn left and head west, and over a bridge.

Soon after a toilet and another bridge, the track branches.

Taking the West Branch line, you will discover fascinating historical points including:

  • a small dam that was used as a water refilling  station for bush lokeys. The small locomotive engine used for hauling logs on tramways was known as site of a significant jigger crash .
  • a cutting forged through the pumice to ease the gradient for the bush trams to extract logs.
  • a lokey (also spelt ‘loci’) or loco. Steam had been used on some bush tramways since 1871, but in the early 1900s there was a revolution: the advent of steel rails, and geared lokeys. These locomotives were designed for the extremely steep grades, sharp curves, and uneven tracks in the bush.

At the top of the climb, turn left onto Cuff Road and follow this down until you see the cycle squeeze barrier to re-enter the bush sections of trail.

Proceed to a road junction and go right onto Erua Road for a kilometre to join to the Whanganui Sash & Door Company tramline. There is a gentle descent to the Waimarino Stream with incredible views over the Erua frost flats towards  Mount Hauhungatahi and Tūroa Ski Area.

Across the road bridge over the Waimarino stream follow the trail to left through pine trees. Further along a sign indicates the shallow ford crossing the Waimarino Stream This alternative route avoids having to cross the NIMT railway and SH4.

Alternatively: The trail then turns North following the Waimarino stream towards Erua and parallel to the North Island Main trunk line – one of New Zealand’s key freight arteries. Please take care at the railway crossing – this is a live line.

Finally, after a small loop at Waikune, you’ll head back parallel to the railway line before reconnecting with the gate you entered through at the beginning.


Safety Message: Please do not cross at the unofficial rail crossings as we wish to ensure your safety and that of the train drivers who make their way through this area.  Please follow marked route.

M2SNZ Route Notes:

Please ensure you do not cross or traverse the main trunk railway line at any unmarked points. The track is live. Follow the marked route and enjoy a safe and enjoyable ride.

The track links up with the Uenuku Pine Mountain Bike Park – entry is by “joining” Ruapehu Mountain Bike Club online.

 Note some of this area will be closed in 2021 to allow for logging – check Trail Status to check for details

Marton Sash and Door Elevation Profile

Elevation profile Marton Sash and Door | Mountains to Sea NZ
 

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