The new Clyde railhead opened in 1980 for the construction of the Clyde Dam was reduced to handling wagon lot goods only from March 1984 with smaller consignments going to Alexandra. The stationmaster was transferred away from Clyde together with one of two guards and a locomotive engineer. The total remaining staff remaining on the line comprised one part-time employee at Middlemarch, two full-time staff at Ranfurly, five at Alexandra and five at Clyde (two traffic, three locomotive).
However the line remained open for longer than other branch lines in the South Island, as it was used to move construction materials for the Clyde Dam project. As the dam neared completion traffic dwindled and trains were further slashed to thrice weekly and staff numbers were reduced. Only Alexandra and Clyde stations were staffed and only seven employees performed track maintenance. The last locomotive crew moved away and a Dunedin-based crew ran a daylight service to Clyde on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, stayed overnight and returned the next day.
With the completion of the dam in 1990, there was little other traffic for the line and the line was closed.
The Clyde Railhead Site is now the Start/End of our Trail.