ArchitectureGlenhope is a Troup class B or gable station, with a moderately pitched roof of corrugated iron. There are lean-to structures, the ladies' toilet on the right-hand gable and a porch on the left rear of the building. The cladding is shiplap weatherboards. The original building had no verandah on the platform elevation but later acquired a free-standing one (date unknown). That verandah is now gone, and attached to the building is a lean-to hay shelter. Most of the original sash windows remain in the building, but large openings have been cut in both main elevations for easy access. Decoration is confined to the eave brackets on the rear elevation; there are two chimneys.
HistoryGlenhope was intended to be one of the stations on a railway linking the West Coast, Nelson and Canterbury, to be built by the Midland Railway Company, an enterprise floated in 1886. Instead, for most of its life Glenhope was the terminus of the railway from Nelson. The government took over the building of the line from the financially troubled company in 1895 and in 1899 the line opened as far as Motupiko. It was another 12 years before the railway reached Glenhope - the station was completed in August 1912, and the line opened the following month. The line was pushed on towards the West Coast but difficult economic times and poor patronage saw construction suspended in late 1930. The gap to the Inangahua rail head was just 80 kilometres, but construction was never revived. Two more stations were opened beyond Glenhope but the extension closed in 1931. Lack of patronage and severe competition from road transport saw the line close in 1955 and the track lifted very soon after. Local opposition to the closure included protesters sitting on the tracks at Tadmor. Glenhope is now used for storing hay and apart from its stockyards sits entirely on its own.
Architectural SignificanceGlenhope is lacking most of the surrounding features that would distinguish it as a railway station, but it could be mistaken for little else. Despite its present unusual and incompatible use it remains surprisingly intact and is one of the best examples of the gable station, made all the more distinctive by the absence of track and other railway furniture.
Historical SignificanceGlenhope is a very rare physical reminder of a railway which was an. early victim of the rationalisation of rail services. The ending of rail's dominance in local transport was a most significant event in transport history and the closing of the Nelson-Glenhope railway was a portent of the sweeping changes that rail transport underwent from the 1960s onwards. Opposition to the closure was vehement. Glenhope was for many years the terminal of a railway which always struggled for profitability, and the station is a secluded memorial to that short-lived line.
Town / Landscape ValueGlenhope’s transformation to a barn is emphasised by its isolated situation and backdrop of bush.