Tawa Railway Station

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Metlink suburban rail
Tawa railway station 01.JPG
1937-2013 station building
Location Melville Street, Tawa, Wellington, New Zealand
Coordinates 41°10′9.48″S 174°49′42.20″E / 41.1693000°S 174.8283889°E / -41.1693000; 174.8283889
Owned by Greater Wellington Regional Council (buildings)
KiwiRail (platform, track
Line(s) North Island Main Trunk
Platforms Island
Tracks Mainline (2)
Parking Yes
Opened 21 Sept 1885 (WMR as Tawa Flat)
relocated 24 July 1935 (freight);
19 June 1937 (passenger)
Rebuilt 1937, 2013
Electrified June 1940
Previous names Tawa Flat
Preceding station   Tranz Metro   Following station
toward Waikanae
Kapiti Line
toward Wellington

Tawa Railway Station, originally called Tawa Flat, is on the North Island Main Trunk Railway (NIMT) and is part of the suburban rail network of Wellington, New Zealand. It is double tracked with an island platform, and is 13.75 kilometres (8.54 mi) from Wellington Railway Station, the southern terminus of the NIMT.


Tawa is served by Metlink Kapiti Line commuter trains operated by Tranz Metro. Trains run every 30 minutes off-peak, and more frequently during peak periods. A number of peak services run express between Porirua and Wellington and do not stop at Tawa.[1]

Services are operated by electric multiple units of the EM/ET class and FT/FP class (Matangi). Two diesel-hauled carriage trains, the Capital Connection and the Northern Explorer, both pass through the station but do not stop.


The original line through Tawa was built by the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company (WMR) and the station opened on 24 September 1885. At this time, the railway followed a circuitous route via Johnsonville to reach Wellington, and Tawa was 16.48 km from the terminus. The original station was a flag stop near the junction of Duncan Street and Tawa Street close to the present Redwood Railway Station,[2] at which trains would only stop if signalled to do so by passengers wishing to board or alight.[3]

The WMR was purchased and incorporated into the network of the New Zealand Railways Department in December 1908. In June 1909, the government approved ₤500 to upgrade the station.[4]

In the 1930s, the Johnsonville route was truncated as the Johnsonville Branch, bypassed by the Tawa Flat deviation. This deviation offered a quicker route to Wellington; it was 3 km shorter, avoided the steep grades and sharp curvature of the Johnsonville route, and rejoined the original route north of the new Tawa station. The old station building was used as an addition to a local church.[5]

Freight services began using the deviation from 24 July 1935, passenger services on 19 June 1937. On the latter date, the connection between Tawa and Johnsonville was severed and double track via the deviation with the new station entered service, allowing shorter journey times and a more intensive timetable. The line through Tawa was electrified in June 1940, and on 15 December 1957, the single track north of Tawa was duplicated as far as Porirua.[6]

Replacement of station building[edit]

In 2012 the station building was found to have a 10 cm lean, and to be in poor condition due to major roof leaks affecting the structure. The building was closed after an inspection in January while the work needed to repair or replace the building was assessed.[7][8]

The Greater Wellington Regional Council decided to replace the station building in June 2012; at an estimated cost for an erecting a new shelter in three months of about $600,000. The existing building would require earthquake strengthening and replacement of 80% of the structure, costing possibly $2 million and taking 18 months.[9][10]

Tawa Station closed from 26 December 2012 to 20 May 2013 for replacing the station building and upgrading the platform and pedestrian overbridge. A shuttle bus service from the Tawa Junction temporary car park to an adjacent station, and a Rail Replacement Bus Stop on Duncan Street were provided. The pedestrian overbridge remained open, apart from short term closures.[11][12] The new station building opened on 20 May 2013.[13] The new building has a series of decorative panels of the station history.[14]


  • Rails through the Valley: The story of the construction and use of the railway lines through Tawa by Bruce Murray and David Parsons (2008, Tawa Historical Society) ISBN 978-0-473-14410-4
  1. ^ Metlink, Paraparaumu Line timetable, accessed 30 October 2007.
  2. ^ Hoy, D.G. Rails out of the Capital (NZRLS, 1970) pp. 24,75
  3. ^ Cyclopaedia of New Zealand, Volume 1: Wellington Provincial District (1897), 1072.
  4. ^ "Cabinet Appropriations", Otago Witness 2885 (7 July 1909): 16.
  5. ^ Hoy, D.G. Rails out of the Capital (NZRLS, 1970] p. 75
  6. ^ John Yonge (editor), New Zealand Railway and Tramway Atlas, fourth edition (Exeter: Quail Map Company, 1993), 16
  7. ^ "Leaning Tower of Tawa". The Wellingtonian. 2012-02-16. p. 9. 
  8. ^ Murray and Parsons, pp. 226-227
  9. ^ "Tawa station has seen better days". The Dominion Post. 2012-05-05. p. A13. 
  10. ^ "Train station plans sorted". The Wellingtonian. 2012-06-21. p. 3. 
  11. ^ Tranz Metro leaflet Tawa Station and Melville Street Park and Ride closed for remedial work
  12. ^ Metlink leaflet Christmas and New Year holiday period 2012/2013
  13. ^ Photo of new roof being lowered
  14. ^ Photos of new decorative panels

Coordinates: 41°10′08″S 174°49′43″E / 41.1690°S 174.8285°E / -41.1690; 174.8285

External links[edit]