How Parnell Station Will Look
Here is the Auckland Transport concept of how the new Parnell train station will look.
The station at the foothills of the Domain alongside Mainline Steam’s depot will be open about September next year. It will incorporate the old Newmarket train station building. Let’s hope it goes smoothly and there are no problems with funding in this era of diminishing budgets.
One of the biggest challenges will be the steep pedestrian access from Parnell Rise and Cheshire St.
There is talk of whether land can be obtained in Akaroa St to ease the gradient. There are also talks with the Carlaw Park developer about pedestrian access from that development.
Auckland Transport is now predicting that the station, which had been referred to as a heritage niche station, will end up being among the 5th most used stations on the Auckland rail network.
This week AKT revealed there are plans for an innovative technological hub nearby which would help boost patronage along with use by some University students.
The old Newmarket building, which was removed for the construction of the present revamped station, is in storage in Henderson.
It is in two sections and will need to be re-joined after the move to its new home Parnell. Mainline Steam is keen to use some of the building for its offices.
This is how Newmarket looked until a couple of years ago.
Auckland Transport is presently confirming the consenting requirements.
The big challenge will be that it will need a 4 week Christmas rail closure to enable the track work and signalling reconfiguration to be done when no trains are running.
Station construction will start in the second half of next year.
All up the work involves:
- Integration of the Newmarket building
- Significant track and signalling changes
- Overland line integration
- Disabled accessibility
- Provision for cyclists
- Parnell Domain pedestrian links
- New side platforms, CCTV, public address system, lighting, tactile markings, lifts, signage, help points, passenger information displays
Auckland Transport is also investigating if there can be some bus connectivity with the station – the CCO’s philosophy of joining the two public transport options where possible as seen at Onehunga
The project has been called complex and challenging because of the:
- Station configuration
- The impact on the Domain
- A lengthy planning and consultation process involving the Council, iwi, residents and businesses
- Maintaining long-term track access for Mainline Steam
- The challenge of achieving progress in that 4 week block when trains are not running
- Getting it all done ahead of electrification
- Maintaining and enhancing the frequency and reliability of the services involved
There have been some community concerns:
- The amount of car parking needed during construction
- The heavy trucks that will be pounding the narrow residential streets to reach the construction
- Safety around the old heritage building
- Noise and dust during the construction
This will not be the first merging of a heritage building with modern station facilities although the number of examples of how rail used to be in Auckland are few.
The Glen Eden station was retained and the old Avondale station was shifted to Swanson where it was lovingly restored and is now used as a cafe.