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 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. Follow the trail markers around a clockwise loop that tracks the old bush tramway (complete with original sleepers)
- bush tramway relics
- lovely forest riding
- family friendly
This community trail is supported by the National Park Village Association.
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 the community of National Park Village. Now flourishing with regenerating sub-alpine bush, cyclists benefit from the gentle riding tracks created from the former tramway cuttings and routes.
The trail traverses the special landscapes of Erua. Local iwi Uenuku have lived in the area for centuries and continue to be an important part of the stories, community and success of the area.
Start your journey from the Pou at the Park and Ride at National Park Village. (Following the distinct markers along the route).
Follow Station Rd north, then follow the markers over the railway line and turn left onto Pehi Rd to ride parallel with the maintrunk line along the service access track. Do not cross the railway line.
Entering the loop track through a set of cycle squeeze bars (on your right, directly opposite the access from Mountain Heights Lodge), turn left and head west, and over a bridge.
Soon after a toilet and another bridge, the track branches. Stay left following the wide track with spectacular glimpses of mountains and gorgeous podocarps.
At Cuff road, take a right hand turn and ride up the gravel road (approx 1km) taking time to admire the spectacular views on the skyline.
Taking the West Branch line to the right, 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 end of the loop, rejoin the trail you came up on and return along the same route. (Again taking care not to cross the railway line at any service crossings)
At the finish reward yourself with a coffee and slice of the famous sultana cake at the Station Cafe.
(And there are toilets, showers and a wash station at the Park and Ride)
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.