Exterior of Wellington Railway Station, a brick building, at dusk.

Wellington Railway Station in the centre of the city is the main station serving the country’s capital. It was designed by architectural firm Gray Young, Morton and Young in the 1930s. The North Island Main Trunk and Wairarapa Line also terminate at the station. This makes it the busiest railway station in the country.

With its grand forecourt, impressive colonnade, and high-coffered ceiling, it is one of Wellington’s best-known landmarks. Inspiration for the building apparently came from New York’s Pennsylvania Station. Up close, the high quality of the building’s design, materials, and construction is obvious.

Providing access to the platforms, the concourse has a more utilitarian style with concrete arches and a glazed roof. At the end of the platforms is an elevated walkway, connecting the station to the regional stadium.

The main structure and interior space of the building have changed little since it opened in 1937.

The building has played unexpected and notable roles in the city’s history. It was part of the home-front defence during the Second World War and as a venue for looking after casualties during the sinking of the ferry Wahine in 1968.

The west wing of the building is now used by the Victoria University of Wellington as part of its Pipitea Campus.

Location details

Jurisdiction Wellington City Council, KiwiRail
Permits required Yes, apply for a permit
Location descriptors Buses, bus stations, railway stations, train stations, railway tracks, urban, underground/subway, carriages, coaches, public transport, commuter hubs, transport networks, mass transit, infrastructure, trains, pedestrian walkways.