Strand Emergency Stop

The development of a stabling yard at the old Strand railway station yard is now confirmed and underway.
An impetus is to bring a couple of the platforms of the old central railway station back in service or replace them so they can be used in case things go wrong doing the RWC 2011.
This would create an emergency standby train station if needed as an alternative to Britomart either because of Britomart issues (like a bomb scare) or because trains are backed up there.
KiwiRail has confirmed its commitment for the implementation of tracks and signals for the emergency station.
A concept design has yet to be released.
The old station is rundown and leased in part as a car park and display area but still has a rail connection between the southern and eastern lines along the main platform.
A new stabling yard has been built in Henderson’s Bruce McLaren Rd but a city-based one was also being sought.




  1. Hey There,

    Make it a full time station for national trains. ! :)

    :P :-o >;} !

  2. JB says:

    Wow I didn’t know Auckland did contingency

  3. Nick R says:

    I don’t know if destroying a functioning rail terminus and letting it rot, then trying to cobble it back into some kind of working order seven years later counts as contingency!

  4. Patrick says:

    So will the platforms be upgraded as well?

  5. anthony says:

    well i hope that they keep the station operating for long-disatance trains and a stand-by station.

  6. Carl says:

    he is a great example of a time to reuse old material and build something interesting. the platforms should be in ok condition shouldn’t they? hows about build something interesting and like someone else said, actually make it a full time train stop (not on express services) the more train stops / bus stations around the city the better. if a car exists then 1/2 the work is already done.

    never mind it being a back up plan for the WRC just do it anyway. having have the stuff already completed surely is a bonus?

  7. Scott says:

    Having some stabling near the CBD must make managing the network easier.

    In addition, as patronage grows it will be important to have some kind of backup to britomart.

    I do not think however this should be used as a full time as Carl is promoting. In Auckland our rail makes up the bulk of our rapid transit network. The strand station will be far to close to Britomart and the future Parnell station to add significant enough benefit to our network to justify slowing travel times for. We must do everything we can to make a rail trip (including walking and waiting) faster than an equivalent car trip.

    Re Intercity trains, Britomart is a far better destination.

  8. Nick R says:

    Apparently the station canopies are a unique design with heritage value, one of the first uses of cast concrete or something.

    The problem with having this as a permanent station is the track work doesn’t allow trains to stop there then go on to Britomart. There is effectively a triangular shaped junction, two side head to Britomart while the Strand platforms are on the third side.

    So thats ok for a backup if Britomart gets closed, but not much good for suburban service. It’s not terribly useful for an intercity terminus either, fancy having a train station you can’t get to by train!

  9. Nick R says:

    Scott, the current planning for the CBD tunnel assumes Britomart will be used for through-running electric trains only (except for the one Overlander a day), it will not be available as a terminus for intercity trains due to capacity issues in the eastern approach tunnel. Basically every one terminating train that comes in and out of the eastern tunnel is two trains you can’t run under the CBD.
    This is a major design flaw in my opinion, and it basically condemns Auckland to never expanding it’s regional/intercity rail network!
    I have made suggestions that the CBD tunnel actually run alongside Britomart via a new pair of ‘metro’ platforms (rather than through it), so that the existing terminus stays as a terminus. Rebuilding the Strand somehow would be another option, but it is far from ideal.

  10. Scott says:

    Nick, Are you trying to tell me that our excellent 5 platform station, which is in an ideal location to end intercity trains (ones that are short enough anyway) is going to be upgraded in such a way that three of the platforms will become effectively useless?

    Sounds like a stupid plan to me. I assumed there would be an additional eastern approach leading to a new pair of platforms. This would be a cheap in comparison to the CBD tunnel, and would allow the ~20 train per hour capacity of Britomart to be retained. My alignment allows for the steep, slow corner around vector to be eliminated for the Britomart to Newmarket trains.

  11. Nick R says:

    Exactly. They are taking the new custom designed diesel capable five platform underground terminus and effectively turning it into a two track electric-only metro station… and not even replacing the terminal. Why not build a two track metro station alongside and leave the terminus as it is?!

    Also if you think about it this way they are getting very bad value. Extending the tunnel from Britomart would double the capacity from about 20 trains and hour now to about 40 an hour…. sound ok. But lets not forget that what they are actually doing is spending $1.5 billion dollars on a state of the art underground rapid transit line. A line of this spec can handle 20 trains an hour each way (easily), 40 in total. However this should be in addition to the 20 tph Britomart already has, not at the expense of it!
    Basically the tunnel project should triple the current system capacity, but their insitence on bunging it into the side of the exiting station means they would be lucky to get double.

    Another thing to consider is that there are three mainline tracks in from the suburbs and three back out again. So with the current tunnel plan there would only be two tracks ‘through’ the centre…. Auckland would only ever be able to run it’s railways at 2/3 capacity! Running the CBD tunnel past Britomart to Quay Park Junction would mean the equivalent of three tracks ‘through’ the city, matching central capacity to suburban capacity exactly.

    On the length issue platforms 1 and 5 could be easily extended another two cars in length before hitting the external wall of the station, in order to run longer intercity trains…. however this isn’t much for the proposed plan as 1 and 5 are the ones that will become the tunnel platforms!

    As you are suggesting the first bit from Quay Park to alongside Britomart could be built cheaply in only a couple of years. This would allow a doubling of terminal capacity for a few years while the rest of the tunnel is built. Auckland needs more train capacity now, let alone after the EMUs start rolling and seven to ten years after they sign off on the tunnel project.
    I have written a blog post and a report on the issue and this has made its way around some people working on the project.
    See here:

    The alignment I have chosen uses Quay St to keep it cheap and easy to build. This does still keep the curve around the arena but to remove that would involve quite a complicated and expensive alignment.

  12. Scott says:

    Yeah, my alignment will be much more expensive, I have had another look at it and and im not sure it will be viable. It runs along beach road and will require a lot of tunnel or an apartment building destroyed to get the gradients ok.

    I don’t think many people would take intercity services unless they run to the CBD.

  13. Joshua says:

    Scott - Unless you have an effective transfer service, maybe would be worth looking at Ollie’s solution to provide that free transfer? I think a similar service could work well, however might be a bit to logical for the councils.

  14. Nick R says:

    Why go with some birko prt scheme to cover 900m? What is wrong with a bus ( the link for example goes past very close) or a train stop on the eastern line. No need to reinvent the wheel.

  15. Joshua says:

    I would agree with a dedicated tram route, underground travelator link or something more permanent, with greater capacity. To me a bus route is to customisable and gives the council temptation to reduce services change routes etc. In regards to an extra train stop, I think it’s to close for another stop, although I guess thats always a option. Not Ideal however.

  16. Scott says:

    A lot of intercity passengers will have bags. So i would think many will be unhappy with more than one transfer. I stand by my statement that Britomart is the best option for these services.

    I understand that the CBD tunnel will use a TBM. In this case it will be easier to continue the TBM on past britomart to a location where it will be easy for it’s removal. We might as well do this properly if were going to spend over $1b on it.

  17. Nick R says:

    Indeed Scott, Britomart is definitely the best option but unfortunately it doesn’t look like anyone is listening.
    Part of the problem with the proposed CBD tunnel is that they will need a huge vertical access shaft to lower the TBM into place and to truck out the spoil. So far it looks like they are planning to using QEII square and the bus interchange out front of the CPO for the job, so that will end up a big hole in the ground for several years (again).
    Personally I think the should locate the shaft in Quay St. They can divert the roadway and footpath just behind the red fence giving an 800m long work site. They could build a new pair of platforms there by cut and cover, with a cheap and easy cut and cover tunnel back to Quay Park on one side and the TBM access shaft on the other. Spoil could be trucked or railed straight out the end of the site, or even better loaded straight into a barge.


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