Taieri Gorge Railway - Hindon Station
Hundreds of children in Western attire, and their parents, were ready to steam off up the Taieri Gorge to Hindon. It’s a bit of a misnomer to say "steaming" as a pair of engines that pull the golden yellow carriages, sign-written with the Tairie Gorge Railway locos are diesel.
Built in 1906, with the longest platform in New Zealand (800 metres), the Dunedin Railway Station was once the countries busiest station. George Troup, Chief Architect of the NZ Railways Department, known as ‘Gingerbread George’, designed the building according to the Flemish Renaissance style, so loved by the Edwardians. He used Marseilles tiles, dark volcanic Otago stone, the lighter Oamaru limestone, and columns of Aberdeen Granite to create the buildings striking visual contrasts.
ANZAC Square out front commemorates those who fell in WWI, and there are a number of ornate plaques around the main entrance acknowledging railway workers who fell in the great wars and local dignitaries. The Dunedin Railway services declined in the 1970’s and the suburban services and branch lines were eventually closed down, leaving the station began to slowly decay. Luckily, the Dunedin City Council had the forethought in 1994 to purchase the building and restore it as a transport hub for buses and tourist attraction.
Today, the Station’s international claim to fame as it is on the list of the ‘100 Most Photographed Buildings in the World’ and it is by far the most photographed building in New Zealand. Freight trains are still shunted into the yard, with freight destined for Port Chalmers, and the Tairie Gorge Railwayruns half day passenger excursions. The New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame is housed in the building and the Otago Arts Society. On Saturdays, the car park becomes a busy farmers market, which is worth visiting to purchase the freshest produce in town at the cheapest prices.