Here is a movie I made from some old footage which shows Willowbrook Park (on the right in the movie). It was taken from the passing train when Willowbrook was still an old apple orchard, back in 2007. Pity it was an overcast day...
Along the way one passes through the centre of a bull farm. It was the first time I have seen bulls chained to a run by a ring through their nose (not very kind). Evidently they are prize specimens and their, um, seed is sold for a lot of money (nice job if you can get it...)
The Cambridge Branch Railway runs from Ruakura to Hautapu (but orginally Cambridge). The first sod was ceremoniously turned on 6 May 1882 and construction began. It was easy to construct the first part of the line between Ruakura and Matangi. A kilometre south of the Newstead Station (no longer standing) a five span timber bridge was built to cross the Mangaonui Stream. The full cost of construction was about £6000.
Above: The second bridge across the gully, built in 1909.
It was built entirely of timber and was 380 feet long.
It was replaced by the 3rd bridge (below) in 1946.
Willowbrook Park's location shown as red dot.
Below: A map of the Cambridge Branch Railway and surrounding land.
Willowbrook Park's location shaded in green.
It would be diverting to have our own little station, Willowbrook Halt perhaps. People could stop for afternoon tea in the weekends...