"The bar has been open in the handsome Edwardian Railway Hotel in Winton since 1911. Designed by prominent Invercargill architect CJ Brodrick, replacing an earlier building destroyed by fire in 1910, the Hotel, now known as Central Southland Lodge, remains a meeting place for locals and travellers alike.
The small Southland town of Winton grew up around the needs of travellers making the slow muddy plod across the plain from Invercargill to the goldfields at the Wakatipu. The steady stream of miners and travellers encouraged the construction of the railway and Winton was one of the main transit points. The original Railway Hotel opened in 1861 and by the early 1870s was catering for rail passengers as well as those on foot. Surviving two fires which saw the destruction of many buildings in the town's centre, the Railway Hotel finally succumbed to another blaze in 1910. It was rebuilt to Brodrick's design and reopened in 1911. Since that time the Hotel has remained a community meeting place, social centre and a provider of accommodation for travellers.
The former Railway Hotel is a two-storeyed neo-classically styled Edwardian hotel building. On the ground floor it has shops and the bar facilities. The upper floor houses the accommodation and function room. The Hotel is L-shaped in plan, with a formal fašade to Great North Road, and a more utilitarian face at the rear of the buildings. The Hotel is built of brick, which has been plastered, and has a hipped corrugated iron roof. The street entries to hotel articulated by chamfered end wall and balconied portico, a moulded cornice and pedimented parapet with balustrading. There is a veranda over the shops. It is supported by cast-iron posts. The upper floor has arched double hung-sash windows and a projecting balcony. The "Railway Hotel" and date of establishment (1861) are picked out in raised letters on upper storey frieze.
The former Railway Hotel has architectural significance as an example of early twentieth century Edwardian hotel architecture, with its relatively grand and imposing fašade, reflecting the status of the hotel in the Winton community. The Hotel represents the importance of such buildings in small communities, and as a building which epitomises an early twentieth century hotel still used for the same purpose. The former Railway Hotel, in its incarnation as the Central Southland Lodge remains significant as a community meeting place."