Wedderburn Station Building — Wedderburn, New Zealand
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Dunbar Loop
S 45° 01.842 E 170° 00.646
59G E 422074 N 5013163
Quick Description: The Wedderburn Station was built in 1900 as one of the last Vogel Period Class 5 Station. It also was the highest station on the South Island and New Zealand's smallest staffed station. Today it is open for the public to look inside.
Location: South Island, New Zealand
Date Posted: 3/28/2010 4:16:10 PM
Waymark Code: WM8G3A
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 3

Long Description:
Wedderburn Station Building

Built 1900. Building ownership Wedderburn and Garibaldi Curling Club.


Architecture: Wedderburn is the only remaining example of a Vogel Period Class 5 Station. It is little changed from when built. The only addition being a woman’s toilet. Wedderburn is a lean-to structure with a moderately pitched roof. The walls are clad with rusticated weatherboards and the roof is corrugated iron. As built the station had (view front on) a central lobby, an office to the left, and a ladies waiting room to the right. The principle feature of the main façade is the valancing above the lobby entrance. The separate section of the building are defined by pilasters and the building is capped by a bargeboard. The lobby, lined by exterior weatherboards is flanked by a pair of double hung sash windows. The interior rooms match the simplicity of the exterior. The walls are horizontally matched lined. There was not even a fire place, only a stove.

As New Zealand’s only extant unmodified Vogel Class 5 Station and one of the last built, Wedderburn is of considerable importance. It revels the practical simplicity required for the country’s smallest staffed station. Little touches such as the pilasters and valancing embellish the main façade and impart some dignity to what is essentially a lean-to structure.

Today the building serves as clubrooms for the Wedderburn and Garibaldi Curling Clubs. (Acknowledgements to Rail Heritage Trust of New Zealand).

The Central Otago Railway reached Wedderburn in 1900 and the station was opened on 01/06/1900. It was situated about 250 south of the present State Highway 85, between the former Wedderburn Garage and the Wedderburn Hall.

The Wedderburn Station was the highest above sea level at 1767 feet in the South Island at the time. The main traffic was livestock and freight including coal, cream and various farm items. From 1940 the station was staffed at times of busy freight traffic. In 1980 it was proposed to limit freight through Wedderburn to wagon load of goods only, but due to a campaign by local residents the small lots service was reinstated.

A passenger train service ran each way once a day from Monday until Friday. In 1956 this was replaced by a Vulcan Railcar service, which ran until 1976 when passenger service closed. Freight trains were steam operated until 1968 when the diesel locomotives took over.

Steam trains cause many fires from sparks from faulty fire boxes at times and local farmers were always on guard for fires in the dry summer periods. In winter hard frosts often caused large freight trains even with two engines great difficulty in climbing the steep gradient from Wedderburn to McKays Crossing at over 2000 feet above sea level, due to wheels slipping on the railways lines. Sometimes, it would take a hour to travel the 2 to 3 miles to the top of the hill.

The Central Otago Railway closed in 1990 – the end of an era.

Is the station/depot currently used for railroad purposes?: No

Is the station/depot open to the public?: Yes

If the station/depot is not being used for railroad purposes, what is it currently used for?:
Club rooms for the Wedderburn and Garibaldi Curling Clubs.

What rail lines does/did the station/depot serve?: New Zealand Railways

Station/Depot Web Site: Not listed

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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AdventureTharon visited Wedderburn Station Building — Wedderburn, New Zealand 11/16/2014 AdventureTharon visited it
WilkieWalkers visited Wedderburn Station Building — Wedderburn, New Zealand 2/20/2011 WilkieWalkers visited it

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