Dunedin Family History Group

Otago and Southland related research

The Dunedin Railway Station

The Dunedin Railway Station was built on Dunedin’s wealthy inheritance from the gold rush days. During the city’s most prosperous years this railway station was the country’s busiest, handling up to 100 trains each day.

1922 circa - DCC 330-44 WM Stone's building2 c1922

[The Station front in 1922 – DCC Archives]

George_Alexander_Troup_(1863–1941)_by_Stanley_Polkinghorne_Andrew_(c_1879-1964)_in_1927 Construction began in 1903 and the station was officially opened in 1906. It was designed in the fashionable, desirable and highly expensive Edwardian Baroque style. Unusually though, architect George Troup uses an experimental collaboration of Classical and Neo-Gothic imagery, which creates a grand and classically regimented structure, with an assorted and asymmetric countenance. There is an Italianate clock tower at one end and a Gothic spire at the other, as well as the use of Classical motifs to create upwards gestures reminiscent of Gothic architecture.

The station is constructed of dark basalt from Kokonga in the Strath-Taieri with lighter Oamaru stone facings, giving it the distinctive light and dark pattern. Pink granite was used for a series of supporting pillars which line a colonnade at the front. The roof was tiled in terracotta shingles from Marseilles surmounted by copper-domed cupolas. The southern end is dominated by the 37-metre clocktower.

The combination of over the top decoration and the intricate use of contrasting dark basalt and white Oamaru limestone earned its architect the nick-name “Gingerbread George”.


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The booking hall features a mosaic floor of almost 750,000 Minton tiles.

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A frieze of Royal Doulton porcelain runs around the balcony above

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The balcony has a superb view of the mosaic floor below and has some beautiful stained glass work in its windows.

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The staircase has small but fairly wide, well-proportioned stairs, a beautiful iron banister with a nicely polished wooden rail. The mosaic tiles are most eye catching as you look down, the colours and letters symbolizing New Zealand Rail (NZR) with the train wheel sitting nicely against the warm mint and yellow walls.

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The main platform is the country’s longest, extending for about 500 metres.

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 Dunedin Railway Soldiers

There is a Roll of Honour and Passchendaele memorial nameplate at Dunedin railway station.

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The roll commemorates 56 members of the Dunedin section of New Zealand Railways (NZR) who lost their lives during the First World War.

Banfield W.H.  Clayton J. Hunter H. Murray A.R.  Paget A.W. West J.B.
 Bateman T.H.  . Davis F. E.  .Islip E.E.  McCoombe J.S.  Radford E.W.  Whitfield G.E.
 Beekman A Downes T. S  Jacobs H.D.  McEachen P.J.  Rendall T. G  Whitaker J.
 Bennett C. L.  Egan J.P  Johnston G.  McGregor J.  Scoullar W.A.  Whiting N. A.
 Blackie J   Farland C.T.  Lamb A. D.  McKellar D.  Shannon E.A.  Williams J. A. B.
 Brown N. E.   Findlay J.  Mann S.L.  McKone J.  Short J.  Wilson I. M.
 Bruce H. S.. Finlayson P.  Matheson N.M.  McMurtrie D.A.  Stewart W.D.
 .Cardno C. A   Fry F.L.  Menzies J.W.  McPeak J.R.  Stuart J.
 Carruthers W.T  Gordon J.  Muirhead J.  O’Donnell P.  Sutherland H.
Christie W. J.  Hedges   A.H.  Murcott J.  O’Leary J.W.  Turner W.