Carterton Railway Museum
Te Whare Rerewe o Carterton
Home of the Wairarapa Railway Restoration Society Inc.
Porihanga Whakaora Rerѐwe o te Wairarapa
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    Waingawa terminal switch box without & with its cover                    Old Carterton telephone line

Archive & Research Centre

We are actively working to expand our museum archive and research centre. Any information would be helpful and most appreciated. We are particularly interested in the Wairarapa line which runs from Wellington to Woodville.

The archive contains a wide range of information and items.


Please don't throw away those old railway photos, staff information, railway documentation or memorabilia! Once gone, it is lost forever.
If you are not sure about what you have, please ask.


Historic Carterton Railway Station Statistics 
  • The railway station houses the Carterton Railway Museum.
  • It is the second oldest station in New Zealand that is still on it's original site.
  • It was completed in 1880.
  • The station is a Vogel type and was 130 years old in 2010.
  • It is built of the native timbers Totara, Rimu and White Pine (Kahikatea).
  • Tongue and groove wall boarding was used for the inside rooms.
  • The veranda was added in 1899 and the ends of the veranda were fitted with sliding shelter panels circa 1900.
  • In 1900 'home' signals were installed.
  • In 1902 the Wairarapa line was the first in New Zealand to be equipped with the Tyers Tablet system. This system was decommissioned in 1994.
  • By early 1908 the station was lit by gas and in 1928 was lit by electricity.
  • The bookstall with its bay window was added in 1912.
  • The portico on the Wheatstone Street side was added in 1923/24.
  • The station was closed for business in 1988.
  • Carterton had one of the last Tablet operating stations in New Zealand.
  • Carterton was the last semaphore signalled station on an operating line in New Zealand. The signals were decommissioned on 17th September 2001.
  • The coal shed / Men's toilet block was built at the same time the station was built and is the oldest working railway Men's toilet in New Zealand. 

Carterton Railway Museum 
Operated by - Wairarapa Railway Restoration Society
  • In 1990 a group of volunteers got together to work out how to save the Carterton Railway Station from demolition
  • In  1991 the group of volunteers became incorporated and were called the Wairarapa Restoration Society Incorporated.
  • The station was sub leased from the Carterton District Council, who leased it from New Zealand Rails Ltd. The station is now owned by the Greater Wellington Regional Council
  • At first, the lease was for the station, coal shed and Men's toilets only. The railway precinct was later added to the lease.
  • The station became a museum and the society became the Wairarapa Railway Restoration Society Incorporated, home of the Carterton Community and Railway Museum
  • In 2007 the Carterton Railway Station received a restoration award from the Railway Heritage Trust of New Zealand.
  • In 2009 the museum name was changed to the Carterton Railway Museum, as this more closely defines what the museum is about
  • In 2010 the Society celebrated it's 20th Anniversary


Carterton's Annual Daffodil Carnival

The Carterton Daffodil Carnival is the first event of the month long Wairarapa Spring Festival. The carnival is held on the second Sunday in September.

Most years tickets are sold for a Daffodil Carnival steam train excursion run by Steam Incorporated. The excursion brings people from the Wellington area to Carterton for daffodil picking in the fields at Middle Run Farm. The owners of Middle Run Farm started the daffodil picking some years ago to raise funds for charity. There is also a street carnival of stalls and entertainment.

On arrival at the Carterton Railway Station, people from the steam train catch buses to Middle Run Farm, or stroll the 500 metres to town. Buses run between Carterton and Middle Run Farm throughout the day. People came also catch the scheduled diesel trains to and from Carterton. The Carterton Railway Museum has a free open day.

The steam locomotive has to be turned for the return journey to Wellington. There is no turntable, reversing loop or wye in Carterton but there is a turntable in Masterton. The train travels to Masterton, turns and returns to Carterton. Some years tickets are sold for the Carterton to Masterton return trip. This trip is organised by the Wairarapa Railway Restoration Society Incorporated in conjunction with Steam Incorporated.

Details of both steam train trips are posted on the events page of this website several months before the carnival.


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