Operating on a 1067mm gauge (3' 6") track over the years since 1970, the Glenbrook Vintage Railway has acquired or built a number of buildings, structures and facilities to form the infrastructure of this operating heritage railway. Firstly there is the Glenbrook Station complex which has been developed and improved since our opening in 1977. This is the railway's main centre of operations during operating days and it now features a large station building incorporating a Stationmaster's Office, Ticket Office, Bookstall and Gift Shop, Refreshment Rooms and dining area. The complex also features a toilet block, a working NZR signal box, large picnic area and play train, occupied railway house, jigger sheds, a water tower (ex-Paerata), and a working example of an NZR turntable (ex Papakura).
The GVR’s current terminus at the southern end of the line is the Victoria Avenue Station located in Waiuku some 7.5km from Glenbrook. This replica "flag station" was officially opened and commissioned in 2013 and features a waiting room. The station, our interim terminus until our extension to Waiuku's Tamakae Reserve at the head of the Manukau Harbour has been completed, is located on top of an embankment which has been beautifully planted by members of the local community.
The restoration and maintenance heart of the GVR is the Pukeoware Workshops, This is where many of the locomotives, carriages, wagons & buildings are restored and overhauled to pristine condition. The main engineering depot of the Pukeoware Workshop complex features a number of ex-New Zealand Railways tools and machinery, including the Parnell Wheel Lathe & Quartering Machine. This workshop can cater for the overhauls, restoration and maintenance of steam & diesel locomotives. The Car & Wagon Workshop is relatively new, having being constructed in the early 2000’s. This building has room for three carriages inside and is equipped with all the woodworking tools and machinery needed to restore the heritage carriages and wagons. Located in the main yard is a working water tower for the locomotives, as well as a coaling facility. The railway has aquired sufficient land to also accommodate a shunting yard and three very large sheds available to store many of the heritage items undercover.
An ex-NZR water tower has been moved from Papakura to Waitangi Stream approximately 3km south of Glenbrook Station, and now continues to serve its original purpose of replenishing steam locomotives. Water for the tank is drawn from the nearby stream by means of a diesel pump.
A small flag station, once sited at Pukeoware during NZR days, has been re-sited at Morley Rd, originally to serve a deer park, now long gone.
Signalling at Glenbrook is covered entirely by semaphore signals manually operated from the signal box. More signals will be introduced at GVR as time allows, and these may be a mixture of semaphore and colour light signals.
The track, all 8km of it including the yards, and obviously one of the most vital components of railway infrastructure, requires continuous maintenance and upgrading. Since the beginning of the GVR, our Track Gang has completely relayed the main line in heavier-section rail, with new wooden sleepers, and latterly some "seconds" in concrete sleepers - no mean feat. We own an ex-NZR ballast tamper and pneumatic track maintenance equipment now, but the early days all involved manual lifting and packing.
Four bridges span the Railway, and while not vital aspects of railway infrastructure, are worth mention. The first bridge after leaving Glenbrook is at Shakespeare Rd, south of Pukeoware. The second bridge carries Kitchener Road over the Railway and was built to bypass the third, adjacent, rare narrow unreinforced concrete bridge built in 1921 by the Public Works Dept.. The fourth and last bridge, also a PWD-built unreinforced concrete bridge, was never used, but required considerable expense by GVR to stabilise and restore to its current condition. These two last bridges are very "English" in looks, and are exremely rare, thought to be the only two of this "Roman arch" construction in the country.
Victoria Ave Station
RES Onehunga Museum/Clubrooms