Waingawa railway station

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New Zealand Government Railways Department regional rail
Waingawa railway station 04.JPG
Waingawa railway station platform.
Location Waingawa Road, Wairarapa, New Zealand
Coordinates 40°58′8.47″S 175°35′46.82″E / 40.9690194°S 175.5963389°E / -40.9690194; 175.5963389
Owned by ONTRACK
Line(s) Wairarapa Line
Platforms Single side
Tracks Main line (1)
Wagon loops (4)
Parking No
Bicycle facilities No
Opened 30 March 1921
Closed 27 February 1987 (freight, general consignments only)
28 September 1992 (passengers)
Previous names Taratahi
The former Waingawa railway station building preserved at the Carterton station precinct by the Wairarapa Railway Restoration Society.

Waingawa railway station is a station on the Wairarapa Line in the Wairarapa district of New Zealand’s North Island. It is located about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) south of the Waingawa River and is situated in a heavy industrial area. It served passenger trains until 1992 and now only handles freight (private sidings and special consignments).


The first use of the name Waingawa in relation to rail facilities in the Wairarapa was when from 1895 a siding about 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Kurupuni (Solway) became known as Waingawa. It was a private siding that had for a long time been known as Donald’s Siding, and was used by the Wellington Meat Export Company to load livestock for transport to their abattoir at Ngahauranga.[1]

Between 1908 and 1912 the Wellington Farmers’ Meat Company established their own private siding about 45 chains (3,000 ft; 910 m) south of Waingawa called Taratahi. In 1921 this became the location of a new station called Waingawa, complete with signalling apparatus, and the name Taratahi ceased to be used.[1]

Though a co-operative freezing works was established at Waingawa in 1897, the brisk traffic in livestock from Waingawa to Wellington continued, at least until the opening of the Waingawa Freezing Works. In 1966 a siding was laid from the Waingawa yard to the then new Masterton saleyards.[1] The saleyards are still extant today but their siding has long since been removed.

Several industrial neighbours have come and gone in the vicinity of Waingawa station. In 1911, the Waingawa Freezing Works were opened by the Wellington Farmers’ Meat Company and lasted until 9 November 1989[2] when, in the hands of AFFCO, the works were closed as part of an industry rationalisation. Japanese forestry products company Juken Nissho (now Juken NZ) opened a mill just north of the station in February 1992, which continues to transport goods by rail using its own private siding.


Since the closure of the freezing works, forestry related businesses and trucking companies have largely supplanted the livestock trade at Waingawa, with the JNL mill now the largest rail customer on site. This may change in the future, as several projects are under consideration that may involve the use of rail for the transport of product out of the Wairarapa, including:

  • Wairarapa log freight rail project[3]
  • Waingawa Industrial Park[4]
  • Bulk milk transfer from Waingawa to Hawera via the Manawatu Gorge[5]

In February 2009 funding from the National Land Transport Programme[6] for the log freight project was approved by the NZ Transport Agency.[7] Log traffic started in March 2012 and typically moves around 300 tonnes of logs per day.[8][9]

The former Waingawa station building was rescued from demolition by the Wairarapa Railway Restoration Society in 1991 and relocated to the Carterton station precinct where it may be viewed by visitors to the museum there.

The only sign at Waingawa that passenger trains used to stop there is the old station platform which can still be seen from Waingawa Road. There is little prospect of a passenger station being re-established here, as Waingawa is officially considered to be part of the "Solway/Masterton rail station catchment".[10]



  1. ^ a b c Cameron, Walter Norman (1976). "Chapter 10: The Stations". A Line Of Railway: The Railway Conquest of the Rimutakas. Wellington: New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society. pp. 243–244. ISBN 0-908573-00-6. In those early years the next public station was Kurupuni, 7 miles 27 chains north of Carterton, but from very early times a private siding had existed about two miles to the south of Kurupuni, being known for a long time as Donald's Siding. From 1895 it became known as Waingawa. Between 1908 and 1912 another private siding called Taratahi was opened to serve the Wellington Farmers' Meat Company 45 chains south of Waingawa; the siding at Waingawa served the Wellington Meat Export Company and was used for loading sheep and cattle for transport to the Company's works at Ngahauranga. In 1921, however, a new Waingawa station was built with signals and "switch-out" tablet instruments south of the original Waingawa siding and Taratahi disappeared as a name for this locality. A new siding was laid in 1966 to service the new Masterton saleyards. 
  2. ^ KATTERNS, TANYA. "Coming in from the cold in Waingawa". The Dominion Post. Wellington: Fairfax New Zealand. Retrieved 27 October 2008. [dead link][dead link]
  3. ^ "Key projects for 2007/08" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 October 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2008. 
  4. ^ Hoskins, Sean (7 May 2004). "Waingawa industrial park set for go-ahead". Wairarapa Times-Age. Archived from the original on 18 October 2008. Retrieved 3 January 2008. 
  5. ^ Farmer, Don (12 March 2009). "Railway milk tankers may ply 'old' line". Wairarapa Times-Age. Masterton: APN News & Media. Retrieved 12 March 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ CHURCHOUSE, NICK (1 April 2009). "$1m to get logs off road". The Dominion Post. Wellington: Fairfax New Zealand. Retrieved 31 March 2009. 
  7. ^ "Decisions from the NLTP Review Group, February 2009". Archived from the original on 1 May 2009. Retrieved 22 March 2009. 
  8. ^ "Rail move to cut Rimutaka log jam". Wairarapa Times-Age. 6 March 2012. 
  9. ^ FULLER, PIERS (10 July 2012). "Trains take logs strain". Wairarapa News. Masterton: Fairfax New Zealand. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  10. ^ Hewitt, Rhona (26 March 2007). "Matarawa Station - Update" (PDF). Proceedings of the Passenger Transport Committee. Wellington: Greater Wellington Regional Council. Retrieved 3 January 2008. 

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