Photos: Auckland Rail As It Was


How quickly we forget how bad rail was when I started this site four years ago.

And reader Andrew W also found some photos of Auckland rail of only a few years before that date -a few of those published below – that seemed like something out of  centuries ago ,not the early 2000s.

Take Newmarket. You know that busy Auckland suburban railway hub that caters for more than one line.

When I started the blog Newmarket station was  inadequate with not even proper signage.

AKT complaints helped lead to a man being hired to go with a loud hailer at peak times to announce which line a train was arriving as you could not tell if  a train was going west or south and often people got on the wrong one (as I did twice).

Even more bizarre that a man yelling into a loudhailer on the platform was the fact, the young low paid student’s English was his second language and I couldn’t tell what he was saying.

Newmarket in 2003

We get frustrated when trains don’t arrive or get delayed today. But catching a train in Auckland a few years ago was a real lucky dip.

This was the rundown but heritage Newmarket station building that will soon get lovingly restored and recycled as the new Parnell Museum train stop.

OLD NEWMARKET; Hardly the award winning architectually designed hub of today

The Newmarket signal box

This is how we caught trains in 2002. And we thought that was modern rail.

Waiting at Avondale. You’d never really know if you would ever make it.

ORAKEI: These widely used shelters, only now completely vanishing, reminded me of high school toilet blocks

We grumble about timetables today. When I started writing this, you had only the odd train coming through.

Train schedules and signage in 2002

So not surprisingly see how low patronage used to be on suburban lines – while  this year’s patronage reports  talk of millions.

As we await those flash new electric trains, when I started catching them, they reminded me of the centuries-old ones you would see in those old classic black and white movies!

And we have put up with much during the rejuvenation of rail.

This was catching a New Lynn train in 2009:

EXCITING: A new temporary station for New Lynn!

Breakdowns were the norm. You would think you were in the middle of the African jungle trying to get through difficult terrain, not in the middle of West Auckland.

We waited for another train to arrive to tow it

So before you grumble about what happens today, check out where we have come from in the last decade.

Auckland rail 2009

Key rail events in photos 2009

Auckland 2010 highlights

Rail 2010 A year of openings



  1. Andy says:

    Wow if that’s Newmarket in 2033 I wonder what happens in between that!? :P

  2. William Stewart says:

    A National Government.


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