ArchitectureSpringfield is a large gabled rectangular structure with a verandah on the platform elevation. Steel-framed, with some walls built of Summerhill stone, it has long-run iron on both the main building roof and the verandah. The internal layout has an office, luggage room, public lobby, toilets and refreshment room. The latter was designed to make the most of the views of the Southern Alps.
HistorySpringfield has had three station buildings. The first, a class 4, was built presumably for the opening of the Midland line as far as Springfield in 1880. The opening of Otira Tunnel in 1923 and the completion of the link between Christchurch and Greymouth greatly increased traffic on the line, and stations such as Springfield required more accommodation to cope. Early in 1923 a new Troup Gable station and yard were built, some distance from the site of the old station. Springfield also became important as a locomotive depot. In 1944 the goods shed was destroyed by fire and immediately replaced. Less than 21 years later fire claimed a large part of Springfield's second station and refreshment rooms. A new station was quickly in the planning but it was two years before the present building was opened by the Minister of Railways, J. K. McAlpine, on 15 June 1965. Questions over the future of Springfield were raised in the late 1970s but in 1980 it was recommended the building be retained. Springfield retained its role as a locomotive depot until recent years. In 1986 the station closed except for passengers and for operating purposes.
Architectural SignificanceSpringfield's principal architectural interest lies in the enduring influence of standard station building design. The gable building with verandah is such a common and practical design that even by the 1960s in designs such as Springfield this arrangement was largely adhered to, with the obvious provision of modem materials and lighting.
Historical SignificanceThe Springfield building does not have a long history in its own right but it is associated with a station that has been in active use since 1880. For some years Springfield was the terminal of the Midland line and thereafter the line was extended towards the West Coast only slowly. The present quite substantial building indicates that in the 1960s Railways continued to regard Springfield as an important operating base.
Town / Landscape ValueSpringfield station is away from the township and is greatly enhanced by a very fine backdrop of the Southern Alps.