So Far, So Good


What a difference Grafton makes to Western Line travel.
Today, I’ve made several trips and so far, they have been on time and feel much smoother, without the interruptions of major construction along the way.

The amended western Line timetable, which i strongly supported, also seems to have made the timetabling more realistic, giving drivers a couple of extra minutes at Newmarket to make up time or make the physical trip down the Newmarket platform to the end of the train to continue on their journey with the changeover.

Grafton's an interesting looking station to arrive at

But it’s early days and there are still potential signal and other issues I guess.

How have you found your trip today?


Videos and photos: First commuter train arrives at Grafton train station

Goodbye Boston Rd train station , Hello World class Newmarket -are railway stations

Videos- Steven Joyce opening Grafton says  good transport boosts Auckland’s economy

Auckland’s big rail day in photos

Steven Joyce unveils plaque

Station looks stunning

Various speeches

Mike Lee’s speech




  1. James Pole says:

    I’ve thought it was very odd that a full 2 minutes should be given for the changeover at Newmarket for *all* services. Surely it should be 2min for peak trains and 1min for off-peak/weekends? I find it rather difficult to believe that the full 2minute would be required for the weekend runs using 2-car trains.

    Besides under the old timetable I noticed that staff one of the direct cause of delays. I recall one late-running train arriving at Newmarket. What did the driver do? Chat to workmates of course, delaying our train a further 2-3mins!

    So I ended up arriving at Avondale ~6mins late — 3mins late departure out of Britomart and another 3mins lost at Newmarket due to staff delaying the service for their own pleasure. No delay caused by the Newmarket junction itself!

    Timetable is only one piece of the puzzle, we also need staff that understand the concept of running the service to time…

  2. Matt L says:

    My train was 6 mins late to town this morning. We got held up between Grafton and Newmarket waiting for a platform and got diverted to platform 1. We only had a 2 car ADL so the end change wasn’t to slow just after we stopped a train from South turned up on platform 3, It departed first so we were held up for another few minutes for the track to clear. Before that we were on time.

  3. Commuter says:

    New timetable but whoever thinks that they can run up and down trains on the Avondale/New Lynn bottleneck with a 3 minute crossover period needs their head looking at. So offpeak, it has been the usual wait at New Lynn: my 14:16 to Britomart today was delayed by the train that’s meant to arrive at New Lynn at 14:13. It came 6 minutes late (a not uncommon occurrence - the delay usually ranges from 4-14 minutes). By the time the wheezing 2-car ADL had crawled up the Avondale rise, we were running a good 10 minutes behind scheduled time. Needless to say, no announcement from Veolia and certainly no apologies for the usual, slack service. No improvement discernable from either the Grafton double-tracking or the ‘adjusted’ timetable.

  4. Kurt says:

    I still think the timing of Southern and Western trains need to be sorted. They all seem to converge on Newmarket together either way rather than quarter hourly. And the lack of access for the Western line to platform 4 has cut down the options meaning trains need to wait while they cross lines.

  5. max says:

    What is the trouble with 3 minutes? Is it the shutting down / powering up? Surely three minutes is otherwise sufficient to walk down a train’s length?

  6. Jeremy Harris says:

    My bus was on time and had a good run, little congestion, thanks for asking ;)

    I do admire the perserverance of you train commuters… If my bus was as regularly late, delayed while on board or broken down as the Western Line has/had been I would be a cyclist commuter by now…

  7. Matt L says:

    My afternoon express home ended up being 8 mins late to my station but that was due to New Lynn, it will be so good when that is finished.

    Jeremy - yes we westies are a hardy bunch and have had to put up with a lot of disruption and delays over the last 6 or so years of double tracking. I suppose that is the price we pay for living in paradise because is known, West is Best ;-)

  8. jarbury says:

    I think in my one year of using Herne Bay buses I have had perhaps two buses not turn up. And those have been outside peak times.

    So I do admire the perseverance of those using the rail system.

  9. Jimmy says:

    I was on a train from out west, it came into Newmarket a couple of minutes late and a pilot driver got into the front. Unfortunately our train then sat there for about 3 minutes while a Southern Line train (which was about 6 minutes late) also bound for Britomart arrived and departed.

    As for Grafton, I felt like it was busier than Boston Road used to be, but I’ll reserve judgement on that until it’s been open a week.

  10. joust says:

    I caught a train at Grafton in the evening peak today. The new location is so much more visible in the area than the old Boston Rd station was, its surprising how much of a difference 100-200m can make. The new location seems more accessible from the top part of the CBD than Britomart. Signs from the symonds st end of grafton bridge pointing out the walking route to get there would be a good way to draw commuters from that part of town.

    The platform seemed pretty busy with lots of helpful veolia/maxx staff on hand giving out copies of the new timetable. At 6pm the platform lighting came on!

    Its very quiet down in the trench compared to at street level. A side effect of being in the trench especially on a still day like we’ve had is the smell of diesel exhaust from a locomotive pulling a set of SA carriages is quite strong. People used to the Britomart haze probably won’t notice too much difference though.

    While I was waiting a pair of joggers ran along the platform, they’d come down one of the park road staircases, and headed off up to the other side of Khyber Pass! pretty good way to cross a busy street without having to break stride.

    Its great to see all the info signs constantly visible on the station. Hopefully thats the start of what we can expect elsewhere on the network.

    All the stations on the western line between Britomart and Kingsland are now pretty amazing - very modern feel about them. I’m sure thats quite deliberate thanks to the RWC, but so much the better for Aucklanders using those stations.

  11. ingolfson says:

    Yeah, the number of staff on site was scary ;-)

  12. Urban Local says:

    Good run for my ‘peak’ hour Mt. Eden to Henderson service. The services have been between 4 - 7 minutes late every day this year. It has been so consistent that I have been turning up 4 minutes later than the schedule.
    Today it was only 1 minute late.

  13. Geoff says:

    “The amended western Line timetable, which i strongly supported, also seems to have made the timetabling more realistic, giving drivers a couple of extra minutes at Newmarket to make up time”.

    The thing is though, no extra time has been added to the schedule.

    Back in 2007, before old Newmarket closed, trains were allowed 2 minutes Boston-Newmarket, 3 minutes at Newmarket, and 8 minutes Newmarket-Britomart. 13 minutes total.

    During the Kingdon St days, the 3 minute stop was used to provide redundancy in the schedule by allocating 4 minutes for Boston-Kingdon St and 9 minutes Kingdon St-Britomart, so still 13 minutes. This enabled trains to make up some time if they were running late.

    Now we have gone back to the 3 minute stopover, but it’s still the same 13 minutes for Boston (Grafton) to Britomart.

    In other words, for the January 2010 to April 2010 period, the time for drivers to change ends at Newmarket was always in the timetable, but was often absorbed by trains having to wait at Boston for single line clearance.

    It’s the double track that has made the difference, not the inclusion of three minutes at Newmarket, which was always there.

  14. Matt L says:

    Joust - I went through on the evening express and saw a coulpe of runners heading along the platform from the khyber pass end towards Park Rd, this was about 5:40. you probably saw the same ones on their way back.

  15. joust says:

    Huh, shortcut to the domain for a run eh.

    What did you think about the changes to the express Matt L? Did many passengers board at Grafton, and is the trip faster without the Newmarket stop?

  16. Graham says:

    I boarded a full Britomart bound train at Grafton earlier this morning.
    Due time 1135; arrival time 1137.

  17. Matt says:

    My train was about 9 mins late to my station this morning. Interestingly they picked this day to do a passenger survey. The survey mainly asked questions about how well staff dealt with delays and passengers who need assistance


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