Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. The Waimea Plains Railway was a secondary railway line (not a branch line) that linked the towns of Lumsden and Gore in northern Southland, New Zealand. It skirted the Hokonui Hills, and operated as a through route between 31 July 1880 and 1 April 1971, with the short section from Lumsden to Balfour continuing as the Balfour Branch until 15 January 1978.The Waimea Plains Railway was built in order to improve communication between Dunedin and the Lake Wakatipu district. At the time, construction of the Otago Central Railway had barely begun and the only other way to reach the region by rail - the most efficient form of transport in the days before modern road transport - involved a detour south via Invercargill. The Waimea Plains Railway Company was formed in 1878 in New Zealand under the District Railways Act of 1877, and began construction on 11 January 1879. The easy terrain meant construction was swift, with the last rail laid on 24 May 1880 and the official opening a couple of months later on July 21.