WELLINGTON RAILWAY STATION HISTORYWhen completed in 1937 the station was New Zealand’s largest building, partly because it was designed to accommodate 675 head office and district office staff.The land upon which it is built is reclaimed, and it was the first major New Zealand structure to incorporate a significant measure of earthquake resistance. It was constructed by Fletcher Building as one of its first major construction projects. It was designed by New Zealander W. Gray Young, famous for his neo-Georgian styles.
When it opened, Wellington's two former stations closed: Lambton, built by New Zealand Government Railways to serve the Wairarapa line; and Thorndon, built by the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company to serve what became the North Island Main Trunk via Johnsonville.
It has a steel frame encased in reinforced concrete and supported on groups of reinforced concrete piles. Bricks used for the outer cladding are of a special design, with slots to accommodate vertical rods reinforcing the brickwork and binding it to the structural members. It required 1.75 million bricks, plus 1500 tonnes of decorative granite and marble. The station is registered as a Category I Historic Place.
The station was used in a 2009 TV advert in the United Kingdom for a train ticketing company, TheTrainLine, where a large flock of sheep use the station facilities. The station copes with large daily passenger numbers with very little alteration having proved necessary. In its first year, 7,600 passengers made 15,200 trips on 140 trains daily. Today, 22,000 passengers make 44,000 trips on 390 trains, excluding long-distance services.