NZASM Middelburg Railway Station

While we have no direct evidence as to who the designers of the stations were it can be assumed that Victor Alexander Herman Claudius van Lissa (1863 – 1947), as Chief Architect to the NZASM, was responsible for the styling, although the planning invariably conformed to in-house ‘types’. Also, the contractor is not recorded, but, as with many of the finely crafted buildings along the Eastern Line complying with the exacting standards and specifications of the NZASM, it was more than likely Mattheus Carel August Meischke, (1859 – 1935). This is a ‘grand’ station, obviously indicating NZASM pride and prestige, and predicting a future for the town of Middelburg as a railway centre. Initially the building, being adjacent the railway line, was isolated and distanced from the centre of town. Its main stepped gable, styled in Dutch fashion, also faced the railway, rather than the town. However, in time, as the town developed, it became incorporated into the public fabric and civic space. While its ‘speklaag’ (‘streaky bacon’) styled counterparts in Flemish Revival of the Netherlands would have been done in brick and stone banding, here light and red local sandstones are used to effect. The building housed the ticket office, offices, waiting rooms, a bar as well as the living quarters for the stationmaster. It was declared a National Monument in 1978, now a Mpumalanga Provincial Heritage Resource and still does duty as the railway station of the town.

NZASM: Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij

Artefacts (accessed 28 April 2016).