First Train Into Onehunga


A familiar Veolia train arrived at Onehunga about 10.30am this morning as the first official train to use the Onehunga line, re-activated after 37 years.

The Mainline Steam engine that was supposed to bring guests for the official opening was delayed because of a slip blocking the carriages from Glenbrook that would have been used.

A jazz band played, locals got into the occasion by crowding the station platform and as part of the heritage festival being held at the same time, numerous people were dressed for a time when steam trains ruled.

Here the special guests step off the train:

A number of people at today’s gathering said they remembered taking trains before the commuter service finished and were excited about the thought of using them again to get into the CBD.

The official ceremony was held in a tent on the rather rudimentary park and ride at the northern end of the station.

Along the street entrance to the station, photos of old Onehunga including early train photos have been placed.

ARTA chair says rail is booming-Video
Videos of steam train
First official train into Onehunga
Photos of the festive day
Onehunga celebrates in style
Mike Lee speech
Te Papapa, Penrose 3 pictures
Steven Joyce speech
Steven Joyce on police chases
Onehunga being constructed- Photos
35 take first trip into Britomart on Sunday- photos
More hordes try out the new trains - Photos
Historic photos along the fenceline a nice touch
New $36m New Lynn transport hub opens

Time now for airport rail




  1. Kurt says:

    Great to see but why start it off with the one of the more shabby railcars in the fleet. It didn’t even look like it had been cleaned for the occasion.

  2. Jon C says:

    @Kurt if you read the coverage this was never intended to happen but a very last minute event when everything else failed to get the official party to the station.

  3. Ian says:

    It’s scary when people who remember the old service are described as elderly. I remember the old service and used it on occasions too. Great to see Aucklands pioneer line back in action.

  4. Jon C says:

    @Ian True. I have removed the word. I was actually talking to an 80 something who was talking about the very early days!

  5. Matt says:

    Kurt, as one of the be-costumed travellers on the first train, I can say with some authority that it wasn’t meant to be that train. A tree got blown down over the line out to Glenbrook last night, and got collected by a coal train. That blocked the line for bringing vintage carriages back from Glenbrook for use with the Main Line Steam loco, and ensured that we were left with a scratch train from Veolia’s main fleet to get us to Onehunga for the opening.

  6. Andy says:

    I didn’t find anything on either The NZ herald or Stuff websites about today’s events. Pretty disappointing.

  7. dj says:

    there is a piece in the sunday herald today.

  8. Andy says:

    @dj - That’s why I said websites. I don’t live in NZ at the moment so cannot get my Sunday Herald.

  9. karl says:

    What a negative attitude in that article!

  10. Andy says:

    @karl - Exactly what I thought.

    “With 49 services operating every weekday, the trip between Onehunga and downtown Auckland will take only 25 minutes. At least, that’s the plan. But yesterday’s omens were hardly propitious.”

    They don’t even bother to mention WHY the train was late. What the hell is Kathryn Powley and Emma Geraghty’s problem? Or did they not bother to find out why it was late in the first place?

  11. Joust says:

    Idiot journalists probably think onehunga is somewhere in manukau city.

  12. Jon C says:

    The Herald deputy editor wrote this a few weeks ago:
    Auckland civic planners have been announcing urban rail schemes so frequently that news editors cannot stifle a yawn. That will be why we haven’t heard or read much about the gathering on Monday.
    But it scared me. If a major party decides to buy the Auckland election with a promise of some uneconomic pork, it probably could. We have created a monster.


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