Porirua Station

This page outlines the history and descriptions of stations on the Porirua Railway Station site.

History of stations on this site

Porirua Station north end circa 1909.
Porirua Station, north end, ca. 1909, new NZR tablet system on post in foreground
Porirua Museum ref. 26/29 (see also PM ref 19/16 NZR E4875, view from south end)

The first Porirua Station was a simple wooden structure based on the 5th class PWD plan, but finished in a distinctive style by W&MRC’s designers, on a single platform. It is unclear when it was completed, but this was most likely to have been in 1885 when the railway line was opened through to Paremata. It was altered over time with the addition of a verandah and ladies waiting room in 1911 and a cart loading dock in 1914. It appears the W&MRC station was then demolished and a new building of a comparable size erected – this building appears in the 1958 image (below) to the left of the current station.

Planning for significant changes to the rail line began early on. In 1928 a large block of land appropriated by the government from the Mungavin Homestead was incorporated into the railway land in anticipation of the planned deviation and duplication of the rail line.

The new station complex was part of a programme of major civil work associated with this redevelopment. Porirua Stream was diverted into a formed channel, over-bridges providing access to Porirua East and the new motorway were constructed between the 1960s and 1980s, a “modern” city centre was created, and vast earthworks and building projects were carried out as part of the state housing development in the area.

Porirua Station north end 1958 new station under construction.
Porirua Station, north end, 1958, new station under construction, old station building to the left (post-dates the original W&MRC building).
Porirua Museum ref 20/28 NZR B8346

Work began on the new station and the change to an island platform in 1958 (See image Porirua Library Neg. B8346) when deviation and duplication of the line began. It is understood that the “down” line (to Wellington) remained on the original alignment on the east side of the new station and the second track was run on the western side. [See Ref. xiii]

The new station building was not completed until after the official opening of the new line on 7 November 1960 (See image Porirua Library 137/18). The project included a new pedestrian subway connecting to the car-park on the east of the tracks and to Porirua (across the diverted stream) on the west side. The old station was eventually demolished after the new Porirua Station building was formally opened. Today, the railway station stands roughly opposite the former Mungavin Homestead, 180m away, and is partly located on the former homestead gardens. [See Ref. xiv]

The station has been modified over time; new bus and pedestrian shelters were constructed on the west side in the 1980s, there is a substantial “park and ride” car park on the east side and the station building was substantially refitted and altered in the 1990s to improve facilities and safety.

Description of the current station

Porirua Station is the largest in Porirua City. It is located on the east side of the channelled Porirua Stream and is reached from the Porirua side from a vehicle loop with bridges at the north and south extremities of the station area. Along this side, there is a substantial modern bus station, with arched roofs designed in a lacklustre style similar to Mana and Pukerua Bay stations. The station is accessed by an underpass at the south of the building, which also runs through to the main car park and a small bus station, on the east side.

The station building is designed in a simple late 1950s modernist style. It has a gently upswept flat roof with a distinctive chamfer at the edges, broad cantilevered verandahs supported on the steel primary structure and brick and concrete infill walls between the steelwork. The welded steel verandah beams interpret the longstanding NZR tradition of using bent railway irons for verandah supports. Most of the building has been dressed over or changed in recent alterations work, and the visible fabric of the enclosed spaces today is all ca. late 1990s, including plywood and fibre cement panels, corrugated steel verandah soffits, and aluminium window and door joinery with mysterious but rakish diagonal lines swept through the glass. The station building has a full complement of traditional station facilities, including offices, ticket sales and a food kiosk, toilets, and indoor waiting spaces.

Porirua station relates strongly to the epic development of Porirua City of the late 1950s and the 1960s and is an example of Porirua City's modernist architecture.

The present Porirua Station from north end.
The present Porirua Station, from the northern end
Photo – Russell Murray, 2009

Railway Station Upgrade

The Porirua Railway Station and Subways were upgraded in December 2010, and officially launched in March 2011.  The upgrade was part of a $1.2 million enhancement to welcome the new Matangi trains, and for the Rugby World Cup.

Local artists and photographers were invited to provide murals and photographs to adorn the subway walls, and new security cameras, lighting and paving was installed.

To read about the murals and artists, go to our Porirua Railway Station Upgrade page.

References

xiii Submission from Rail Heritage Trust of NZ on PCC’s heritage management strategy, 24 February 2010
xiv The remains of a tennis court fence and a number of interesting specimen plants can be found at the east side of the present car park, adjoining the remnant of the former Porirua Stream

Return to the 'Porirua's Rail Heritage' page or continue to the 'Paremata Station' page.