Otaki Railway Station
Arthur Street, Otaki
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 2
Private/No Public Access
5th September 1985
Extent of List Entry
Extent is part of the land described as Lot 1 DP 88386 (CT WN55D/455) and Pt Te Awaroa 12A (CT WN55D/456), Wellington Land District and the building known as Otaki Railway Station thereon and its platform.
Kapiti Coast District
Lot 1 DP 88386 (CT WN55D/455), and Pt Te Awaroa 12A (CT WN55D/456), Wellington Land District
This is the third railway station to be built at Otaki and, externally, is considered to be a fine example of the work of George Alexander Troup (1863-1941), chief architect of New Zealand Railways, and later Mayor of Wellington. The first Otaki Railway Station was built by the privately-owned Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company in 1886. In 1908 the government acquired the company and a year later a new railway station was built. In July 1910 the station was destroyed by fire leaving only the iron posts from the verandah that had been recently erected.
Plans for the replacement station were based along similar lines to the station at Levin-essentially a 'Type B' Troup station. Simply put, a Type B station consisted of a gabled wooden rectangular structure and a corrugated iron clad roof. Most of the windows were double-hung sash. The plans for Otaki station also included accommodation for a post office and a refreshment room in fulfilment of previous lease agreements. At this time it was not uncommon for the railway station to also serve as a post office and telephone exchange, and the Post and Telegraph Department contributed to the construction costs for the new railway station. The design also incorporated the verandah of the previous station.
The third Otaki Railway Station was opened in February 1911. The refreshment room was closed in 1919, although a bookstall continued to operate from the station. In 1951 the post office vacated the building in favour of a new, centrally located building. In 1986 Otaki Station was designated a special purpose station. The station continues to be used by train passengers, but the interior has been leased out by the Crown to the Otaki Railway Station Community Trust for commercial purposes.
This station building is one of a rare and diminishing group of vintage railway stations built to a design by George Troup, the Railways Department's first architect. Troup had a major influence on station building design over a long period and Otaki is a fine example of a Type B building. Its largely intact exterior is particularly noteworthy. Historically the building is of very great local significance as the principal gateway for goods and people in and out of the town, until the influence of the railway diminished in the latter half 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
Note that the verandah dates to 1910
Refreshment room closed and converted into a storage area
Kitchen converted into signal adjusters workshop
Small parcels delivery lobby and counter opening off the main station lobby removed
1948 - 1951
Wall shifted, counter and doorway between parcels and signal room added, provision of doorway access between parcels office and signal room, plus other alterations
New restroom opened
Post Office converted into workshop for signal adjuster
Signal lever room converted to staff luncheon room
22nd November 2001
Report Written By
K. R. Cassells, Uncommon Carrier, the history of the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Co. 1882-1908, Wellington, 1994
J. D. Mahoney, Down at the Station: A Study of the New Zealand Railway Station, Palmerston North, 1987
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.