The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 6 (October 24, 1926)
New Zealand's Finest Railway Station
Dunedin has the finest railway station in New Zealand. All who have travelled the length and breadth of this Dominion, recognise this claim. The citizens of Dunedin can indeed feel proud of their railway station. Many ungrudging encomiums were passed upon its architectural beauties by visitors to the recent Exhibition. Sir Joseph Ward's name will always be linked with this fine building. It was chiefly through his efforts that it was erected. In his capacity as Minister of Railways, he laid the foundation stone on June 3rd, 1904. The designer was Mr. G. A. Troup, late of the Engineer's staff, Head Office, but now retired on superannuation.
The style of architecture is that known as Flemish Renaissance. The materials used in its construction are pressed brick, with Mount Somers, and Oamaru stone facings. Polished granite pillars support the arched colonnade in the front of the building. The base is of stone from Port Chalmers, and Marseilles tiles cover the roof. The building is of two stories, with a width of about 55 feet, and a length of 340 feet. The attention of the visitors who survey the edifice from Anzac Square is attracted by the tall tower at the southern end. Rising foursquare to a height of well over 120 feet, and housing a clock, set some 60 feet above the pavement, the tower gives dignity to the whole building. The advantage of a clock to quicken the laggard energies of the late arrival needs no argument. A projecting balcony just under the clock, enhances the beauty of the tower. Stone carvings of the royal coat of arms are placed between each of the four corner pediments. The whole is surmounted by a green tinged circular dome, topped by the usual flagstaff. The arched colonnade running along the front of the building is broken at the main entrance by a covered carriage entrance; a boon in inclement weather. This carriage entrance has a massive appearance, topped as it is by a beautifully carved circular shaped window with Oamaru stone forms and ledges.
A smaller tower 80 feet in height, finishes off the northern end of the building. The top of the colonnade, like the main entrance, has a parapet of stone; the window pediments of the upper storey preventing any suggestion of monotony.
Ticket Windows, Entrance Hall, Dunedin Station
Dunedin Station Building and Passenger Yard (South End)
The floor tiles are set out in patterns to show a locomotive, and the letters N.Z.R. Leading from this entrance, or main hall, is a handsome stone stairway, with tiled steps, connecting an encircling gallery, from which run spacious corridors, north and south, communicating with the various rooms and offices of the Traffic Manager, District Engineer, other officials, and their respective staffs. Two handsome leadlight windows, one facing east, and the other west, are deserving of special mention. The design is in the form of the front of a locomotive. When the sunlight streams through that portion representing the headlight, the effect is most realistic.
A commodious waiting room for ladies is entered from the booking hall. The stationmaster's quarters are also situated here.
Coming back to earth the visitor is impressed by the width of the platform. Plenty of room is here provided for hurrying travellers, and luggage laden porters. The luggage room with its storage space of 3,600 feet, ensures ample accommodation for passengers’ effects. A general waiting room measuring 27 feet × 25 feet, adjoins the luggage room. In addition there is accommodation for bicycles, and other conveniences looked upon as necessary to the railway traveller.
Passengers in need of help for the inner man, can obtain such, daintily served at the refreshment counter situated at the south end of the station. Adequate attention has been paid to eliminating the fire menace. In fact, the station is practically fire-proof. The building is efficiently heated by a hot water system.
The verandah over the wide platform is built so as to give an unimpeded view of the full length of the main line. The use of several electric trucks expedites the handling of luggage from and to the van and the parcels office.
Docks at either end of the station building, of two roads each, facilitate the prompt dispatch of traffic, either north or south. Truly Dunedin has reason to be proud of its railway station.