Featherston Station

Today a small country station used by commuters to Wellington, Featherston has had an interesting operational history. Even in the 21st century the station still has its day of fame, when thousands of passengers arrive by diesel locomotive hauled EMUs and transfer to buses for the Toast Martinborough Wine and Food Festival.

On this page I present some details of Featherston Station, although my story is far from complete.

Featherston Station

Featherston Station on Toast Martinborough Day, 19th November 2006. This was the last time the local signal panel was switched in.

Featherston Potted History

Rails reached Featherston in 1878 via a route that included the Rimutaka Incline.

Tablet was installed from Upper Hutt in January 1902 (replacing Winter's Block) and extended to Masterton in December 1902.

CTC was installed from Trentham to Upper Hutt and on to the south end of Featherston in 1955, following the completion of the the 8.8 km long Rimutaka tunnel. The system was controlled from a time code CTC machine at Upper Hutt. Mechanical signalling remained at Featherston until 1957 when motor points, colour light signals and a local panel were commissioned.

Track Warrant Control replaced tablet north of Featherston in July 1994.

Control of Featherston was transferred from Upper Hutt to Train Control and the station signal panel decommissioned over the weekend of 16th/17th December 2006. The panel had been last used on Toast Martinborough Day 19th November 2006.

Busy Station. A Line of Railway states that Featherston can lay claim to having been one of the busiest livestock handling stations in the country.


Click on an image for more information....

Featherston points lever

Featherston Yard. In 2002 sufficient infrastructure remained to indicate what Featherston may have been like in its heyday.

SH2 Featherston on Toast Martinborough Day

Toast Martinborough. A record of Featherston Station's busiest day of the year in 2004.

Featherston panel

Signal Panel. The Featherston signal panel is far more interesting than a diagram on a computer screen in the Network Control Centre!

Featherston local panel

Signalling History. Diagrams explain how Featherston's signalling has changed over the years.

3B switchstand

Bankers. In 2002 the Daffodil Express bankers stabled at Featherston while the Express continued its journey to Carterton.


Read the Featherston memories of a retired driver who began his railway career in the 1950s.

Local Instructions

Local instructions L286  Featherston - Local Instruction For signalman (March 1989) and L732A  Upper Hutt - Featherston CTC - Local Instructions for CTC Operator (October 1955) provide more detail on the operation of the station.

For future use

For future use

Last Updated: Sat Sep 1 18:45:18 NZST 2007

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