Much-photographed railway station window restored

The east-facing stain glass window at Dunedin Railway Station. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
The east-facing stain glass window at Dunedin Railway Station. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.

A three-piece stained glass window set in the Dunedin Railway Station has been encased in toughened glass following a careful restoration.

The much-photographed east-facing window depicting a steam train is popular with tourists, many of whom leant on it.

Gradually bowed and damaged from tourist traffic, the windows also bore the legacy of a poor repair job, Dunedin stained glass artist Kevin Casey said.

Mr Casey carried out the 200-hour, $24,000 restoration. It was satisfying to see the windows back in place after the ''extremely difficult'' project. The windows were removed at the start of May, and put back a couple of weeks ago.

Made by Smith and Smith Ltd in 1906, they had had an ''awful'' repair job at some point - just when was unclear.

The original windows had not been correctly installed, which caused damage. A subsequent repair involved fitting many ill-suited pieces of glass.

The restoration involved dismantling the windows and replacing 280 pieces of glass, about a third of the total. He was pleased to have had most of the replacement glass he needed in his and an artist friend's stock.

The only glass that had to be ordered was red jewels for the flowers in the centrepiece, from the United States.

Wooden joinery around the windows had been replaced.

The window on the opposite facing side had sustained some damage, but not to the same extent. It was not in such demand for photos because it did not have the same lighting.

Dunedin City Council city property asset management officer Nicholas Bollen was pleased to see the ''cute'' windows restored to such a high standard.

They would have continued to deteriorate if they had not been restored and put behind glass, Mr Bollen said.

''A lot of the faults with the original, and the work that was done in the past, have been fixed.''

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