Railway Reserve Pathway

Railway Reserve Pathway


The Railway Reserve is one of Nelson’s greatest infrastructural assets, providing an almost unbroken length of off-road shared pathway linking Nelson, Stoke and Richmond. As the name suggests, the pathway follows the historic alignment of the Nelson-Glenhope railway. It is a highly popular and safe route for commuters, students and recreational users, and numerous roads, access ways and other pathways connect to it.

 Trail Details

Length:  7.8 km (St. Vincent St to Orphanage Stream) Trail Type:   Shared pathway
Use:   Walking, running and cycling Primary Direction:   Easy (Easy-Moderate over Bishopdale Hill)
Links to:   Whakatu Coastal Pathway, Poorman Stream Walkway, Orchard Stream Pathway, Orphanage Stream Pathway


As the Railway Reserve Pathway passes through nearly 8 km of urban area there are numerous points of entry and connections to other pathways and trails. There are two direct connections to Whakatu Coastal Pathway via underpasses beneath Whakatu Drive; one at Quarantine Road, and the other at Orphanage Stream.


 Trail Description

The northern end of the pathway begins at St. Vincent Street, where the pathway has a gradual incline to the saddle above Bishopdale. Along this section there are access ways to Boundary Road, Tipahi Street, Tukaka Street and Vanguard Street. The pathway descends down Beatson Road and continues alongside Whakatu Drive to Gracefield Street overbridge, and then across Annesbrook pedestrian overbridge.

Heading south from Quarantine Road, the pathway heads in a straight line all the way to Songer Street. Along this 1.8 km section there are road crossings at Jellicoe Ave, Newall Ave and Andrew Street. Cyclists and pedestrians have priority at these crossings. There are also access ways to Fergusson St, Bledisloe Ave, Freyberg Ave and Cobham Cres. Poorman Stream Pathway is crossed 1.3 km south of Quarantine Road. This section has a very gentle uphill slope until just north of Songer St.

South of Songer St, the 1.9 km stretch to Saxton Road West has a gentle downhill slope. There are no road crossings on this section, though there are access ways to Byron Pl, Marlowe St, Standish Pl, Packham Cres, and Lucy Murcott Pl. Orchard Stream Pathway also links in 700 m south of Songer St. Cross Saxton Road West, and continue for another 100 m to the junction with Orphanage Stream Pathway, which marks the southern end of the Railway Reserve Pathway.

At this junction you can travel east to Saxton Park (via an underpass beneath Main Rd Stoke), west to Whakatu Coastal Pathway (Tasman’s Great Taste Trail) (via an underpass beneath Whakatu Drive) or south across the bridge over Orphanage Stream to Wakatu Estate Industrial Park.


 Trail Images

 Further Reading

Nelson Section – Wikipedia article about the Nelson-Glenhope Railway

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