Kaiwharawhara Railway Station

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Metlink regional rail
Kaiwharawhara railway station 02.JPG
Location Westminster Street, Kaiwharawhara, Wellington, New Zealand
Coordinates 41°15′36.18″S 174°47′28.92″E / 41.2600500°S 174.7913667°E / -41.2600500; 174.7913667
Owned by Greater Wellington Regional Council
Line(s) Melling Line
Hutt Valley Line
Kapiti Line
Platforms Island (2)
Tracks Main line (4)
Parking No
Bicycle facilities No
Other information
Fare zone 2[1]
Opened 20-04-1874
Closed 23-11-2013
Rebuilt 1911, 1935
Electrified June 1940
Previous names Kaiwarra
  Former Services  
Preceding station   Tranz Metro   Following station
toward Melling
Melling Line
toward Upper Hutt
Hutt Valley Line
toward Waikanae
Kapiti Line

Kaiwharawhara railway station was a railway station on the North Island Main Trunk and the Wairarapa Line in Wellington, New Zealand that closed in 2013.[2] It was the first station north of Wellington, and prior to its closure it was served by trains operated by Tranz Metro as part of the Metlink network on the Melling Line, the Hutt Valley Line and the Kapiti Line.

Kaiwharawhara Station was temporarily closed on 13 June 2013, because of safety concerns about the pedestrian overbridge, which was found by visual inspection carried out by the Regional Council to have advanced corrosion.[3] The station was closed permanently on 21 November 2013 and the overbridge was dismantled in March 2014.[4]

Kaiwharawhara had a unique platform arrangement for New Zealand.[5] Looking north, the left-hand island platform was for up trains, the right-hand platform for down trains. The inner faces were used by Kapiti Line services on the NIMT, the outer faces by Melling Line and Hutt Valley Line services on the Wairarapa Line.


The Wairarapa Line reached the south bank of the Kaiwarra Stream in July 1873,[6] and this section of line opened on 14 April 1874.[7] Trains initially ran non-stop from Wellington, but on 20 April Kaiwarra opened as a stop.[8]

Kaiwarra received its first building in late 1875.[8] About 1879 the station received a class 6 passenger shelter costing £160. It did not have either crossing loops or sidings.[9]

Kaiwharawhara railway station, looking south in the direction of Wellington.

Early in the 20th century it was decided to duplicate the line between Wellington and Lower Hutt. Preparatory work was started in 1903 with construction commencing the following year, reaching Kaiwarra in 1909 and Wellington on 4 April 1911.[10] A new station building designed by George Troup was erected in 1911.

In the mid-1930s, in conjunction with the construction of the Tawa Flat Deviation and the opening of the new Wellington station on the 19 June 1937, and the closure of the old Thorndon and Lambton stations, new up and down mains were laid through Kaiwarra to the east of the existing Hutt Valley main lines for the Paekakariki Line (now the Kapiti Line). The Kaiwarra signal box was dismantled and the old railway station replaced with two new narrow island platforms with simple passenger shelters. The western platform was for the Hutt Valley line and the eastern platform for the Paekakariki line.[11]

The station was renamed from Kaiwarra to Kaiwharawhara from 9 February 1951 by a decision of the New Zealand Geographic Board [12]

The current configuration of railway tracks was adopted about 1965 when the down Hutt Valley Line track was moved from the west to the east of the Kapiti Line tracks. This was made possible by additional harbour reclamation during the construction of the Wellington Urban Motorway. The new layout reduced junction conflicts further south at Wellington Distant Junction near Aotea Key where the North Island Main Trunk and the Wairarapa Lines combined into a single up main and single down main. With the new layout, the western island platform was for up trains and the eastern platform for down trains.

With the rearrangement of the tracks, the old down main from Ngauranga to Kaiwharawhara became the up main and the old up main was connected to the shunt road from Distant Junction and the loop at Ngauranga. This gave a fifth track through Kaiwharawhara running on the western side of the four main lines, as evidenced today by the extra overhead wiring still in place, that was used to access an oil depot (just south of the Kaiwharawhara Stream), the NZR Signals Depot and several warehouses.[13]

Until the closure of Kaiwharawhara station on 13 June 2013, there were small waiting sheds on each platform.[14] All have been removed.


Off-peak trains stopped here half-hourly on the Hutt Valley and Kapiti Lines, and hourly on the Melling Line with were more frequent services during peak periods. From the opening of the Tawa Flat Deviation in 1937, trains on the Kapiti Line stopped on request only to pick up waiting passengers on the up platform or to drop off passengers on down trains.


The following Metlink bus services serve this station:

Previous Stop Metlink Bus Services Next Stop
Hutt Road
towards Khandallah
Khandallah - Strathmore
Hutt Road
towards Strathmore
Hutt Road
towards Broadmeadows
Hutt Road
towards Courtenay Place
Hutt Road
towards Johnsonville
Johnsonville via Newlands
Johnsonville West
Hutt Road
towards Churton Park
Churton Park
Hutt Road
towards Grenada Village
Grenada Village via Johnsonville
Hutt Road
towards Johnsonville
Johnsonville via Newlands
Hutt Road
towards Woodridge
Hutt Road
towards Baylands
Baylands via Newlands
Hutt Road
towards Eastbourne
Eastbourne via Lower Hutt
Hutt Road
towards Porirua


There are no shelters or other buildings nor any dedicated car parking. Access was via a footbridge from Westminster Street. The overbridge was found to be seriously corroded in 2013 and the station was closed as a result. It was demolished in March 2014 with the stairs being relocated to Trentham station. The platforms will be retained for emergency egress from trains.[15]


  1. ^ Metlink. "Text description of fare zone boundaries". Greater Wellington Regional Council. Archived from the original on 18 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  2. ^ "Notice of final decision to assign place names". New Zealand Gazette - Te Kahiti o Aotearoa. New Zealand Gazette Office at the Department of Internal Affairs. 1996-08-29. p. 2470. Archived from the original on 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 6. North Island Main Trunk From Wellington to Auckland ... 28. Wairarapa Line From Wellington to Woodville ... 
  3. ^ "Kaiwharawhara Station Closed". Metlink. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Station closes for good". stuff.co.nz. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  5. ^ Hoy, Douglas G. (1970). "The Railway Today". Rails Out Of The Capital: Suburban Railways, Wellington. Wellington: The New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society. p. 77. The station with its two long island platforms and four parallel running tracks is the only one of its kind in the Dominion. 
  6. ^ Cameron, Water Norman (1976). "Chapter 4: Construction and Operation, Wellington to Upper Hutt". A Line Of Railway: The Railway Conquest of the Rimutakas. Wellington: New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society. p. 73. ISBN 0-908573-00-6. It was not until July 1873 that the rails reached the south bank of the Kaiwarra Stream, ... 
  7. ^ "Chapter 4: Construction and Operation, Wellington to Upper Hutt". A Line Of Railway: The Railway Conquest of the Rimutakas. p. 77. The Hutt Railway was opened this morning ... Thus did the Evening Post of 14 April 1874 record the opening of the railway ... 
  8. ^ a b "Early Years". Rails Out Of The Capital: Suburban Railways, Wellington. p. 13. Kaiwharawhara and Ngauranga became stopping places on April 20th 1874, but the first buildings were not erected until later in the following year. 
  9. ^ "Chapter 4: Construction and Operation, Wellington to Upper Hutt". A Line Of Railway: The Railway Conquest of the Rimutakas. p. 89. At this time Kaiwarra and Ngahauranga both received sixth-class stations, costing ₤160 each. Neither station had crossing loops or sidings as yet. 
  10. ^ "Chapter 13: Branch Lines and Sidings". A Line Of Railway: The Railway Conquest of the Rimutakas. pp. 291, 293. Surveys and preparatory work were carried out in 1903 and in the following year work began at Lower Hutt and Petone ... The duplication reached Ngahauranga in 1908, Kaiwarra in 1909, and finally Wellington in 1911. The entire double line from Lower Hutt to Lambton was opened on 4 April 1911 ... 
  11. ^ "Chapter 10: The Stations". A Line Of Railway: The Railway Conquest of the Rimutakas. pp. 223, 225. New main lines were laid and connected at Kaiwarra. ... The Hutt Valley main lines had been completely relocated and the Kaiwarra signal box dismantled. All new signalling equipment and underground cabling were being installed, and the overhead wiring for electrification of the Johnsonville line was being erected. 
  12. ^ New Zealand Railway Observer volume 18, January–February 1951 page 17
  13. ^ "Appendix D: Diagrams". Rails Out Of The Capital: Suburban Railways, Wellington. p. 107. 
  14. ^ "The Railways Today". Rails Out Of The Capital: Suburban Railways, Wellington. p. 77. A foot bridge leads in from the street and two small waiting sheds are the only facilities available. 
  15. ^ "Kaiwharawhara train station overbridge stairs relocated". The Dominion Post. Wellington: Fairfax NZ News. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

  • Train timetables from Metlink and Tranz Metro.
  • Julie Bremner, Wellington’s Northern Suburbs 1919-1945 (Wellington: Millwood Press, 1987) ISBN 0-908582-80-3, see 1934 photo of gang moving rails next to Kaiwarra Station on page 63.