Papakura Rail Station 2
Papakura Rail Station 3

Meeting the needs of modern public transport users with heritage charm

Built in 1922, the Papakura railway station was full of character features yet it couldn’t cope with the demands of its daily passengers. Opus’ challenge was to refurbish the original railway station while still retaining its heritage feel.

Each day, more than 2,000 people use Papakura railway station in south Auckland. It is the third busiest station after Britomart and Newmarket. It required major redevelopment to cope with the passenger volume and to prepare the tracks for electric trains ahead of the electrification of the Auckland rail network.

The development involved the refurbishment and relocation of the existing wooden station building which became the new public entry to the station and platforms. The existing platforms were extended and reshaped, and new platform shelters and signage were installed.

Key challenge and solution

The original station building was built in 1922 and designed by the then famous railway architect, George Troup. It housed the master’s office and waiting rooms and was typical of that period on the rail networks. In its last incarnation, it housed the operational railway staff and the historic manual track level control system, which was only decommissioned in 2012.

We focused on retaining the heritage features of the original station building. Although the original building has been extensively refurbished, the original exterior features of the building have been retained. This includes the original railway iron supports for the verandas, complete with new decking. Heritage features have been included in the interior design, including old track control levels and cabinets displayed behind a glass screen.

The result

The refurbished and upgraded interior now offers the following to the thousands of daily passengers:

  • An entry foyer, with ticket office to one side and a mini museum to the other.
  • A coffee kiosk.
  • Public amenities.

Now fully operational and back in business, the finished railway station cleverly provides for the needs of modern day passengers while retaining its original charm.

At a glance

Client: KiwiRail and Veolia
Location: Papakura, Auckland
Dates: 2011 – 2012


Services provided:

  • Architecture
  • Civil
  • Structural
  • Environment
  • Mechanical
  • Electrical