Lower Hutt Railway Station
499-509 Hutt Road, Lower Hutt
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 1
Private/No Public Access
25th September 1986
This 1905 railway station is the second to stand on this site and serviced what was once the main railway line connecting Wellington with the Hutt Valley and the Wairarapa. The station was built during a period of rapid expansion in railway transport in New Zealand and has great architectural significance as one of the very few ornate examples of the work of George Alexander Troup (1863-1941). At the beginning of the 20th century the government undertook to spend £500,000 per annum on developing the railway network. These plans included the construction of new railway lines, stations, and offices. In 1905, as part of this expansion, new stations were built at Petone and Lower Hutt, and the line between the two duplicated.
The new stations were designed by Troup, who had been appointed Chief Draughtsman for New Zealand Railways in 1894. While Troup is perhaps best known for his design of the Dunedin Railway Station (1907), he also prepared standardised plans for provincial railway stations ranging in size from simple shelter sheds to elaborate buildings, which often incorporated elements of contemporary domestic architectural fashions. The railway station at Lower Hutt is an example of the latter. It is a single-storey Queen Anne style building, with tower, ornate timber detailing and decoration, and a crested, Marseille-tiled roof. The platform canopy is supported by curved, perforated iron brackets. The square tower is capped with shaped dome and ornate finial above. The tower was designed to draw attention to the main entrance porch on what was originally the street frontage. At the rear there is a shallow bay window with hoods over the doors. After the First World War, Troup was appointed chief architect of New Zealand Railways. On his retirement in 1925 he entered local body politics and was Mayor of Wellington (1927-1931).
The use of the Lower Hutt station declined in 1927 when a new commuter line to Waterloo, on the eastern side of the Hutt Valley, was completed. The decline continued in the 1950s when the Waterloo line was extended to serve state housing developments, and Lower Hutt was reduced to a branch line. In 1991-1992 the station building was converted into a bar, restaurant and brewery complex with considerable modification to its fabric. Commuter trains still pick up passengers at the platform, the stop having been renamed Western Hutt.
The Lower Hutt railway station is significant as it is one of the few remaining examples of an elaborate Troup station dating to the turn of the 20th century. It is also significant as it reflects the expansion of railway transport in New Zealand, the changing population patterns in the Hutt Valley, and the importance of the Wellington to Wairarapa line around the turn of the 20th century.
Troup, George Alexander
G A Troup (1863-1941) was born in London in 1863 and educated in Scotland. He trained as an architect and engineer under C E Calvert of Edinburgh and came to New Zealand in 1884. After a short time with the Survey Department in Otago he became a draughtsman for New Zealand Railways in Dunedin and then, from 1888, in Wellington. Troup became Chief Draughtsman in 1894. He designed many station buildings throughout the county, some of which are still in use today; these buildings form an important part of New Zealand's landscape. His best known building is the Dunedin Railway Station (1904-07). He also designed the head office building in Wellington for Railways (1901, now demolished).
Troup became a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1907. After World War I he was promoted to head the newly established Architectural Branch of New Zealand Railways. On retirement from Railways in 1925 he entered local body politics and was Mayor of Wellington from 1927 to 1931. Troup was prominent in the Presbyterian Church and founded the Presbyterian Young Men's Bible Class Union. He was an elder of the church for 47 years and also served on the governing bodies of several Wellington secondary schools. Education was a life-long interest and he was keenly involved in the training of engineering cadets in New Zealand Railways. Troup was knighted in 1937 and died in 1941.
Last updated 1 October 2014
An ogee shaped dome on tower, with ornate (Wunderlich) metal finial. Original French Marseille tiles, ridge pieces and terracotta finials.
1991 - 1992
Converted into a bar, restaurant and brewery complex
16th August 2001
Report Written By
Geoffrey B. Churchman and Tony Hurst, 'The Railways of New Zealand, a journey through history', Auckland, 1990
27 July 1905, p.2
J. D. Mahoney, Down at the Station: A Study of the New Zealand Railway Station, Palmerston North, 1987
David Millar, Once Upon a Village, a History of Lower Hutt, 1819-1965, Wellington, 1972
Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.