Remuera Railway Station

Remuera Railway Station & Signal Box. Postcard c1910. Image courtesy of ‘Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 6-BUC105 Copyright: Auckland Libraries.

The Remuera Railway Station Building was built in 1907 by the NZ Railway Corporation.

Lantern slide of an A Class Pacific steam locomotive & passenger carriages approaching Remuera Station from the north. 1910 James H Kinnear. SGGSC 898-9950.

Remuera Railway Station - September 1907 — Progress on Auckland Railway Duplication Works. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries.

Remuera Station. Brian Cairns Photographer 19 May 2009. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 1477-1055.

The Remuera Railway Station is recognised as one of the most significant remaining suburban railway buildings in New Zealand. It is virtually in original condition. This exhibition is an introduction to the Station's story.

History

Remuera Station began as a stop on the Auckland-Onehunga railway, opened in 1873. After the turn of the century the growth of traffic on the line was stretching its capacity. By 1903 Minister of Railways Sir Joseph Ward acknowledged the need for better capacity and accommodation on the line. A duplicate line was built to Penrose junction, later extended all the way to Hamilton, and new island stations erected at Newmarket, Greenlane, Remuera, Penrose and Ellerslie. The present Remuera Station was completed in November 1907 at a cost of £1,149. It replaced an earlier building that became a library for workshop staff. A toilet block was added shortly after at a cost of £80.00. This was demolished in 1982. A steady drop in parcel and passenger freight to and from the station saw its closure as an officered station in 1942. Remuera was by then well served by trams. Remuera Station enjoyed its busiest period as a freight station from 1970 when the forwarding company Alltrans established a large depot;, which closed in the late 1980s. In 1979 the station was closed to all traffic except passengers and private siding traffic (principally Alltrans). The station platform now remains open for passengers but unstaffed. A modified platform beyond the southern end of the building is used by commuter trains.


Historical Significance

Remuera Station is one of the oldest remaining island stations in New Zealand. Built as part of track duplication island stations are still a common sight on New Zealand’s rail network and are usually found on suburban lines, in the main centres. Remuera is a most important reminder of the original role played by New Zealand’s rail system in, and in tandem with, the country’s rapid urbanisation.


Architecture

The Remuera Station building is essentially a gabled rectangular structure with verandas on both track elevations. The building is timber framed and clad with rusticated weatherboards. The roof is Marseille tile with distinctive cresting and two brick chimneys and pots. There were decorative cast-iron finials at either end until recently. The verandas have, by contrast, corrugated iron roofs supported by decorative cast-iron brackets. Each track elevation has a symmetrical arrangement of doors and windows (double hung sash, presently boarded up) and each gable end has three small four-pane windows.


Architectural Significance

Remuera Station is New Zealand’s finest remaining example of an island station and, outside the four main centre stations, one of the finest in the country. It is in virtually original condition and augmented by an equally fine signal box, designed and built to a similar style. The station was finished to a particularly high standard; the building is embellished with features, such as the tiled cresting, that reveal the effort applied to its design.

Remuera Station Open Day 25 September 2016. AM 593 stands under the restored building in a contrast between the old and new. The platforms and building were raised before the Rugby World Cup in 2011 - prior to that work, the station building was fenced off to the public. nzrailphotos.co.nz.

“The place has a high level of significance as it remains remarkably original.”

Remuera Railway Station & Signal Box Conservation Plan. Burgess Treep + Knight Architects Ltd, December 2015.

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Townscape/Landscape Value

Remuera Railway Station occupies a very prominent site next to a major Auckland motorway and train track and as such is a well-known Auckland landmark. It is an early railway station with significant heritage value whose preservation for the future is regarded as essential.

From 1994 the Remuera Railway Station Preservation Trust has restored the station. The building has a category 1 registration with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and remains a “place of special and outstanding historical and cultural heritage significance and value”. In recent years it has been used for weddings and photo shoots, and the signal box with its 18 levers is a magnet for railway buffs.

See here for more information and here for information on the great work of The Remuera Railway Preservation Trust.

For additional information please see the Remuera Railway Station Conservation Plan (PDF).

01.Remuera Railway Station 1955. From The Railways of New Zealand: a journey through history / Geoffrey B. Churchman & Tony Hurst.

02.Upton & Co’s street map of Auckland with tramlines and railway lines marked. wilson & Horton, 1917. Taken from NZ Map 3115 C 995.

03.Remuera Railway Station by Les Downey 1973 Walsh Memorial Library MOTAT 14-2501.