Strand Re-Opens (Update)
The old new railway stop at Parnell’s The Strand had its official re-opening this morning after its recent makeover into a stabling yard and emergency stop.
Auckland Transport with partner KiwiRail restored the former station to operational level during the last six months.
The $1.7 million project involved the raising and resurfacing of platforms and removing severely degraded platform canopies. The stabling yard now has new tracks, signalling equipment, several new passenger access points, improved lighting and security.
Platform work included:
- Raising and resurfacing of both platforms
- Removal of severely degraded platform canopies in the usable platform area
- Installation of new lighting and public address systems
- Installation of several new access routes to enable safe movement of large passenger numbers
- Installation of wayfinding and station signage
- Retention of representative section of canopies in the non-operational platform area.
Now it comes into its own with the Rugby World Cup as an emergency station if anything goes wrong with Britomart and trains can use the Strand instead to get fans to Eden Park.
Two sections of the old canopy on one of the 5 platforms were kept and paths put in for passengers to use if Britomart became unavailable.
The sections retained are outside the operational platform area, and with the help of the Historic Places Trust there will be visuals and text displays so people know the history of what was there.
The ceremony was led by Ngati Whatua kaumatua Bob Hawke and attended by Auckland Council Cr. Mike Lee who is also a Board member of Auckland Transport.
Hopefully it will continue as an emergency stop after the Cup and find a life of its own.
In fact it was trialled by a Silver Fern recently as part of the investigations into running a Waikato-Auckland commuter service.
If Waikato local bodies agree to fund such a service, the trains will stop at the Strand.
Anyway watching out of a Western Line train window in recent years would have been dismayed at the neglect shown at the site of the Strand platforms so it’s good to see a revival.
The railway station was moved from its original downtown location in 1930 to the Strand in Parnell.
Built by the Public Works Department in 1928-1930, the ornate Beaux Arts-style building was intended to stand as a gateway to the city, and its construction involved the largest independent contract issued in New Zealand at £320,000.
In its heyday, politicians and other important people would arrive at the three-storey building by driving up a sweeping ramp on either side of the building, enclosing a landscaped garden immediately to the front.