Pleasant Point Railway Station

Afghan Street And Main Street, Pleasant Point

  • Pleasant Point Railway Station.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Melanie Lovell-Smith.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 1991 Date Entered 25th June 2004


Extent of List Entry

The station, its fixtures and fittings, canopy and platform and the land on RS 40783.

City/District Council

Timaru District


Canterbury Region

Legal description

RS 40783 (Local Purpose Reserve (Railway), NZ Gazette 1983, p.4303)


In 1872 the Canterbury Provincial Government decided to establish a branch line from Washdyke to Pleasant Point to serve the large agricultural hinterland. A contract was signed in December 1873 for £22, 040, and work commenced in February 1874. The line, including fencing and buildings, was finished in early December 1875 and opened for traffic on 24 December that year. By 1884 it had been extended inland to Fairlie. There were plans to continue across Burke's Pass into the Mackenzie Country, but this did not eventuate.

The supervision of Provincial Government public works in South Canterbury was delegated to the semi- autonomous Timaru and Gladstone Board of Works between 1867 and 1876. On 4 August 1875, the Board accepted the £1, 268/12 tender of Ashton and Peters for the construction of a Fourth Class station and a goods shed at Pleasant Point. The standard Vogel period (1870s-80s) Class Four station was a simple pitched roof structure with an open lobby located between an office and the ladies waiting room. However the Pleasant Point station took this form only until 1882, when it was moved to its present location a block further west, closer to the centre of township, and extended to provide for a telegraph office. The Post and Telegraph Office gained an additional twelve feet when further alterations were made in 1900. The station served as the Pleasant Point Post office from 1875 until a stand-alone building was built in 1913.

The Fairlie branch line transported wool, grain, livestock, passengers and mail until its closure in 1968. Pleasant Point station and a short section of track were taken over by the Pleasant Point Railway and Historical Society in 1970, and have since been run as a railway and historical museum. The museum complex is enhanced by the retention of a section of the line towards the coast, along which vintage railway carriages are hauled by steam engines to provide passenger excursions. The old Signal Box (Reg. # 1997, Cat. II) near the station adds to the classic rail era atmosphere.

The Pleasant Point Station is significant as one of few remaining Vogel period Class Four stations. None of the class survives unmodified; the most complete is considered to be Waverley Station in Taranaki. The Pleasant Point structure is also significant as the second oldest extant station building in New Zealand, and the only historic station building in South Canterbury.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

The Pleasant Point Station has architectural and historical significance as a rare remaining Class Four station building, the second oldest station building in the country, and the only remaining historic station building in South Canterbury.

It also has social significance as a focal point of Pleasant Point, both historically as station and post office, and presently as a museum.

(a) represents the central role that railways played in the development of the regions from the 1870s.

(e) is held in high esteem by the community, such that they united to save the building when the line closed.

(f) plays an important role in public education as a local history and living steam museum.

(j) is a rare example of a Vogel era Class Four station building.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

New Zealand Railways

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Ashton & Peters

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description

A small weather-board station building, originally with a pitched roof, but now incorporated in a gable that includes the platform canopy. The timber gabled ends of the canopy are finished to form a scalloped effect. Changes have been made to the original plans as needs arose, with extensions at the eastern end to provide for post and telegraph services.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1875 -

1882 -
Shifted and additions for telegraph office.

1900 -
Additions for Post and Telegraph office.

1968 -

Construction Details

Timber, with a corrugated iron roof.

Completion Date

3rd September 2004

Report Written By

Pam Wilson

Information Sources

Wilson, 1991 (2)

J. Wilson, South Canterbury historical guide : including the towns of Timaru, Temuka, Geraldine, Pleasant Point, Fairlie and Waimate, their surrounding country districts, and the Mackenzie Country, Timaru, 1991.

New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT)

New Zealand Historic Places Trust

NZHPT Building Record Form

Oliver, 1990

Oliver, O. Pleasant Point: A History 1990.

pp 73-81.

Other Information

A fully referenced version of this report is available from the NZHPT Southern Region Office.

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.