Station named among world's most beautiful

Canadian tourist Lennox Ruiz photographs the Dunedin Railway Station yesterday, after it was named one of the most beautiful stations in the world. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Canadian tourist Lennox Ruiz photographs the Dunedin Railway Station yesterday, after it was named one of the most beautiful stations in the world. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
The Dunedin Railway Station has been named one the most beautiful railway stations in the world.

The much-photographed station was one of only two in the southern hemisphere to be named in the 16-station list by a United States travel magazine.

Conde Nast Traveler compiled the list to mark the 100th birthday celebrations of New York's Grand Central Station.

The magazine has a monthly readership of 807,160 and also operates the CNTraveler.com website and an English edition.

The publicity from such praise was priceless, Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton said last night.

''This is good, positive publicity for our city. It is publicity we simply couldn't afford to buy.''

''I presume Conde Nast Traveler has a readership in the millions. It's an extremely influential travel brand ... For us to be included in a bucket list, if you like, of must-sees is great for Dunedin.

''Tourism Dunedin and other tourism operators often refer to the railway station as one of the, if not the, most photographed buildings in the country.

''Visitors to Dunedin are always blown away by the beauty and design of our railway station. It is a very distinguished and distinctive landmark.''

The station, which cost 340,000 pounds to build, opened in 1906 and, at one time, was one of the busiest stations in New Zealand, handling up to 100 trains a day.

It is now the base for the Taieri Gorge Railway tourist train and will again host iD Fashion Week next month.

In 2006, the station was nominated by DK Eyewitness Travel as one of ''the world's 200 must-see places''.

The other railway stations named by CNTraveler.com are Kings Cross Station, England; Maputo Station, Mozambique; Union Station Los Angeles, United States; Gare De Liege-Guillemins, Belgium; Sao Bento Station, Portugal; Sirkeci Station, Turkey; Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, India; Gare Du Nord, France; Groningen Station, Netherlands; Kanazawa Station, Japan; Rossio Station, Portugal; Central Station, Belgium; Kuala Lumpur Station, Malaysia; Haydarpasa Terminal, Turkey; Atocha Station, Spain.

Ja1274

Steamingmadd:It was not the citizens of Dunedin who decided that $50,000-plus should be spent to put Ja1274 in a glass case - it was museum management, who have never explained their reasons for such an action.They obviously have no understanding of the need for steam enthusiasts to get up close to their love! Walk-throughs of the engine cab are the accepted procedure in many overseas steam museums. As far as re-steaming Ja1274, it is now over 40 years since she last steamed so a boiler replacement would be highly likely. Taking the recent Flying Scotsman overhaul disaster as an example - a boiler replacement cost could exceed $3 million. Plus, there would be all the cost of the rest of the overhaul - maybe another million! In addition, skilled steam-engine restoration fitters are now few and far between. I know - I helped to build Ja1274 in 1956.

Steam train for Dunedin

Yes Dunedin does have a beautiful railway station with thousands of overseas tourists coming to the city via TGR Trains picking them up from there cruise ships. Wouldn't this be great if it was steam powered!? Dunedin has the best locomotive entombed in its glass casket just south of the station.

I was horrified to see what you the people of Dunedin have done to this beautiful Dunedin built locomotive. It's stuck in a glass box with no access for tourists to walk around it & hop up into the cab. What a great photo op and fund raiser this could be, if they pay $2.00 to get in. Door money could go to getting this loco steaming once again on the main line! I will pledge $100 to forming a trust to get Ja1274 out of the glass case Karl Barkley. Email : sdsfarmsupplies@hotmail.com

[Abridged]

Steam Train

A great idea Speedfreak...and it would get rid of all those buses along the West Harbour route. 

Cruise-ship steam trains

The idea of steam-engine hauled trains from Port Chalmers to Dunedin for cruise ships is great however, Tairei Gorge Rail appear to be dead against using steam engines. And since they are the only company with suitable carriages, the idea dies! Ask them direct for a view. It's all a great shame since the Dunedin ratepayers have substantial ownership of TGR but it appears that they won't have a bar of steam.

There is no such thing as 'earthquake proof'

However, I would also like to know... 

What percentage of new building code (%NBC) is the railway station (i.e. Is it above the 34% threshold)?

What strengthening work has been conducted on this building?

Stations by Troup

Give a bit of credit to George Troup, the Edwardian architect. I don't understand why his Greymouth Railway Station isn't similarly admired.

Beautiful building indeed

And surely our best tourist attraction. Here's a business plan for someone with spare cash and motivation. Why are the cruise ship passengers all not delivered to it by steam train rather than by other means? This would have to be a big draw card to the city as its not every day you can get to ride a steam train anymore.

I'm unsure if this idea has been entertained recently or at all but it sounds like a great idea to me. Can you imagine it, a steam train, pulling up on the wharf at Port Chalmers beside a cruise ship? It shouldnt be too hard to find a suitable steam engine. What's the Kingston Flyer doing at the moment.

This, in my opinion, would be a "Build it and they will come" idea that will actually work. Unlike all the others we have been landed with, that don't? 

Mozambique

Just further info, Maputo, Moz. formerly Lourenco Marques was a Portuguese colony. They are responsible for the station and two of their home country stations also made the list; Porto and Rossio station, Lisbon. Been to two of the three - not been to Porto.

Dunedin Railway Station

A friend has asked me if the Dunedin Railway Station is quake proof.

Research please?

Two things here Nigel, first one is that Mozambique is well and truly in the southern hemisphere (it shares latitude with both the NT in Australia and Chile and Paraguay in South America) - a simple Google map would have told you this! Second thing "the station, which cost 340,000 to build" - It cost 340,000 what? Pounds? [Fair cop on the first point - since amended. The pound sign was mistakenly omitted from the story - Ed]