ArchitectureReefton is very similar in design to a Vogel-period gable station. It is one room wide, timber-framed with a corrugated-iron roof, rusticated weatherboard cladding and a generous verandah, which continues the pitch of the roof. When it was reopened in 1907 after removal it had (north to south) parcels, clerks’ and stationmaster’s offices, a lobby, ladies’ waiting room and a store, with external doors to each. A staff room was later added to one [which?] end, which extends beyond the verandah.
HistoryReefton was built by the Midland Railway Co., which was incorporated in England in 1886. Its purpose was to provide the link between the Railways lines at Brunner and Belgrove (Nelson). The section from Tawhai opened to the original site of Reefton station, later renamed Taipoiti, on the south bank of the river, in 1892. The government operated the Midland Railway from 1895, with ownership being vested in 1900, after the company had defaulted on payments to the Crown. In 1907 Railways moved the station to the north side of the river in anticipation of the line being opened to Reefton proper. Minor internal alterations were made, and it reopened on 12 May 1907. The first major addition to the building was a shelter brought from Inangahua (date unknown). A staff room was added in 1951, followed by more minor alterations in 1953. In 1962 the Burkes Creek Coal Mine line closed and the traffic moved to Reefton yard, and in 1972 the stockyards were removed. The station closed to passengers in 1967, and to less-than-wagonload freight in 1986.
Architectural SignificanceReefton is important for being the only surviving Midland Railway Co. station building. As with Wellington & Manawatu Railway buildings it does not depart much from the standard Vogel designs, but it is an early example in reasonably authentic condition.
Historical SignificanceReefton has great historic significance as the only surviving Midland Railway Co. station building, on its working site and close to its original location. The building is a direct link with the company, and it is one of Reefton’s most important heritage buildings.
Town / Landscape ValueThe building is away from the town proper, but it is clearly visible from SH69.