The Kaikorai line was the last of the three cable car services to be constructed for the hill suburbs of Dunedin. Construction of the line from the Octagon to the Nairn Street terminus at Kaikorai commenced in 1897 and took three years to complete. The first tram ran on 9th October 1900.
Looking at the picture (above left) you will see some “U” shaped devices either side of the tracks being constructed. These were made from sections of the steel tracks and were put into the ground with the open end upwards. You can see these in the centre of the tracks where the ‘tunnel’ for the cable car gripper was to travel.
Initially a steel wire rope was used but this later changed to a ‘conventional’ rope in 1940. The rope lasted a bit less than 2 years before having to be replaced.
(Original article by Alan Gilchrist)