Free Onehunga Steam Rides


Onehunga’s train station will be officially opened by transport minister Steven Joyce on Saturday morning -and the public will later be able to score free steam train trips, also as part of Onehunga heritage festival activities. - watch out for a town crier and horse and cart as well!
The officials including the minister, and the ARTA and ARC chairpersons arrive on this steam train from Mainline Steam’s Parnell stable.

The old timer is being provided by the Railway Enthusiasts Society based around the corner in Onehunga in the original Onehunga railway station. At one stage it was mooted the old station could be moved to be part of the new station.

The officials arrived around 10.30 for the ceremony and then between 11.30am and 1pm the public can scramble for free rides to Penrose and back on the steam train.

At 1.30pm the train departs to take the officials back towards the city.
Commuter services themselves start on Sunday morning - timetables and the stages in this earlier post here

After 37 years, the Onehunga line is back as part of Auckland’s train network at a cost of $3.8m with stops at Te Papapa (entrance Cpt Springs Rd or Mays Rd) and Penrose. The line is an historic one being the first to run in Auckland in 1873, taking passengers between Waitemata and Manukau harbours.

Today the Onehunga platform in Onehunga Mall looks like this:

Back in January the site looked like this -an old ITM site:

And over the months the ITM building got demolished and the platforms built and the adjourning area levelled for a park and ride:




  1. Andy says:

    Wish I could be there. I’m sure it’ll be a great day. Hopefully someone puts up some video of the steam train! (hint hint)

  2. Steve W says:

    I’ll be there, probably taking a little video, don’t expect too much though, as apparently it will be a 2 car train with a DC on the other end…
    It’s about 40 years since I rode this particular line, the last time I was a schoolboy and the subbie ran once a day each way. It went into Penrose in the morning and back out at night. I had to catch a trolley bus back into town from Onehunga(from memory).
    I’m hoping that this isn’t the final leg of this saga, next stage I would like to see some freight back on the line as apparently this was part of the reason for the re-opening.

  3. Neal says:

    What magic, Onehunga back on track. There was many a time over the last ten years that I would sit next to the disused line and imagine trains running again. For me, it’s imagination come true.
    I have items in storage opposite Onehunga station and the rumble of trains outside will fill the void of silence.
    I have since moved overseas so I can only rely on photos but can someone tell me if some long overdue care and attention has been given to track side landscaping and beautification. After all, it is an urban setting seen by onlookers, so why not make it look like a well looked after line. Ninety percent of the embankment ground sides are flat so it wouldn’t be a major upkeep challenge.

  4. kevin clark says:

    Ts long overdue.40 years ago i used to watch stream trains useing this line with freight to the wharf and fertilizer works from the house.


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