Newmarket railway station, Auckland

Newmarket railway station is a station in the inner-city suburb of Newmarket in Auckland, New Zealand. It serves the Southern, Onehunga and Western Lines of the Auckland railway network, and is the second-busiest station in Auckland, after Britomart.[5]

Auckland Transport Urban rail
Newmarket railway station in 2023
General information
LocationNewmarket, Auckland
Coordinates36°52′11″S 174°46′44″E / 36.869626°S 174.778882°E / -36.869626; 174.778882
Owned byKiwiRail (track and platforms)
Auckland Transport (buildings)
Line(s)North Auckland Line
Newmarket Line
PlatformsIsland platforms, 180m[1]
TracksMainline (2),
Other (1)[1]
Platform levels1
Bicycle facilitiesYes
Other information
Station codeNWT
Fare zoneCity/Isthmus (overlap)
ClosedJanuary 2008
RebuiltJanuary 2008 - 2010
Electrified25 kV AC[3]
Previous namesNewmarket Junction
CY 20182,560,428[4]
Preceding station Auckland Transport
(Auckland One Rail)
Following station
towards Britomart
Onehunga Line Remuera
(evenings only)
towards Onehunga
towards Onehunga
towards Britomart
Southern Line Remuera
towards Pukekohe
Western Line Grafton
towards Swanson

The station was opened in 1873.[6] It was completely rebuilt between 2008 and 2010 and now consists of two island platforms serving three tracks with a concourse above the southern end of the station.[1] The redeveloped station opened on 14 January 2010.[7]

History edit

Historical station edit

Newmarket Station in the 1940s
Newmarket railway station in 2007, viewed from Remuera Road

The station was opened in 1873 and in its historical configuration it consisted of a single island, accessed by a ramp from Remuera Road (opposite Nuffield Street) and by a pedestrian overbridge which led to Broadway and Joseph Banks Terrace. The original station building was one of four island platform station buildings in Auckland designed and built by George Troup,[8] Chief Engineer for the New Zealand Railways Department. It was built in 1908,[1] at the time of the installation of double track.

The signal box at the northern end of the platform was built at the same time and was one of the few of that era on its original site and still in operation in the late 20th century, being the last full-sized lever frame box on the national network.

Newmarket was also the site of Newmarket Workshops, which opened in 1878, and closed in 1927, when Otahuhu Workshops opened.

The historical configuration of the station, near Newmarket Junction (the junction of the Western and Southern Lines), forced some unusual movements. Trains from the city had to run past the junction to call at the station, as they do to this day. There were two platforms in an island configuration, and all city-bound trains stopped at one platform, outbound trains stopping at the other. This was confusing as the outward-bound platform served both the Southern and Western Lines. This problem was partially solved by 'splitting' the platform into two: Southern Line trains stopped at the southern end of the platform, Western Line at the northern end. However the platform was short, so that this did not always resolve the confusion.

The above practice became less prevalent following the higher frequency of the July 2007 timetable. From then trains used whichever platform was free, and could arrive without any indication of destination. Off-peak operations usually followed the traditional practice, but during the peak this was not practical. This led to passengers' confusion as to which train ran on which line.

During peak times, Veolia staff were often present with megaphones to inform passengers of train destinations. The signal box was attended 24 hours per day and had control of all trains within the station and Junction.[citation needed]

Backshunt edit

For many years, outbound Western Line trains reversed into a special siding, which allowed them to enter the Western Line.[9] In July 2007, this reversing procedure ceased to be necessary, with the start of rebuilding as part of Project DART. However, once the project stalled, the backshunt process continued even after electrification and the rebuild of the station itself until City Rail Link complete.[citation needed]

Historic station building edit

The fate of the historically and architecturally significant old station building was controversial, with various proposals being put forward to demolish, refurbish, or relocate the building. Following the announcement on 14 March 2007 of the budget for the station's upgrade,[10] Minister of Finance Michael Cullen announced that $5 million would be put towards moving the building, possibly to a proposed new station at Parnell[11] where it would serve as a station for the Auckland War Memorial Museum in the Auckland Domain.

The signal box was closed in early 2008,[12] and it and the station building were removed from the site on 3 March 2008 to an undisclosed storage location, as ONTRACK feared they would be vandalised.[13] The station building was moved to Parnell station in time for the start of services on 12 March 2017 and the official opening of the station on 13 March 2017.[14]

Redeveloped station edit

Newmarket West, one of two temporary stations that served the area while the new station was being built

Newmarket station was rebuilt for NZ$35 million between January 2008 and January 2010 as part of ONTRACK's Project DART.[1][15] It was necessary to close the station for the rebuild and two temporary stations were built: Newmarket South, approximately 200m south on the Southern Line, and Newmarket West (also called Kingdon Street) on the Western Line.[16] Both stations were demolished later. As well as modernising the facilities and appearance, the redevelopment improved connections between the station and the surrounding commercial and residential areas. The station now has a concourse level above the platforms, and entrances from a new square off Broadway, a 65m long covered bridge (capable of carrying emergency vehicles) off Remuera Road, and a pedestrian bridge from Joseph Banks Terrace, from the Remuera side.[1]

The station retains the option of extending the concourse, with pedestrian entry off Broadway further north possible in the future. The current entrance off Broadway may also be widened, with Auckland Council considering demolishing two shops to widen the passage.[1] Some criticism was made at the time of opening about the high step up into trains, which was considered necessary by the designers to allow freight trains to pass the platforms. Authorities noted that this was the same height as at other stations throughout the Auckland system with the exception of Britomart, which does not have freight trains passing. Authorities confirmed the vertical distance to step up to some train carriages would be up to 374 mm, but this would be reduced with the introduction of the new carriages specifically designed for the electrification of the Auckland network.[15]

New track layout edit

A view of the station from the north, showing the new track layout

Integral to the redevelopment was the requirement to reorganise the track layout. The new station has twin islands and three tracks.[11] Each island has two platforms, although currently Platform Two is not in use for passenger services. Generally Platform One serves westbound services on the Western Line. Platform Three serves Britomart bound services on all three lines (Western, Onehunga and Southern), while Platform Four serves southbound services on the Onehunga and Southern Lines. The station cost an estimated NZ$25 million to redevelop (paid for by ARTA), and ONTRACK spent around NZ$45 million to change the layout. The project has been called the most challenging in the whole upgrade of Auckland's railway network.[11]

Western Line trains reverse direction to leave the station, requiring the driver to get out and walk to the other end of the train and adding two to three minutes to each trip.[17][18]

Pedestrian access edit

The main entrance from the concourse opens onto Station Square, a large plaza located on the western side of the station which is linked to Broadway and Remuera Road by a pair of covered passages. There is also a covered bridge connecting the concourse to Remuera Road to the south and a smaller bridge connecting the concourse to Joseph Banks Terrace to the east. There are also proposals for a future northern entrance which would link the concourse to another entrance on Broadway opposite the Olympic Pools.[11]

Electrification edit

An AM class train at Newmarket Station on the day of their introduction to passenger services.

On 27 April 2014, Auckland's new AM class electric trains were debuted to the general public in a celebratory open day held at Britomart Transport Centre. As part of the day's events, 5000 Aucklanders were able to take a free ride on one of the new trains from Britomart, to Newmarket station and back. [19]

The electric trains officially entered public service on the rail network's Onehunga Line the following day.

Awards edit

The station's lighting design engineer, Opus International Consultants, won three New Zealand IES Lighting design awards in 2010 for the lighting design: an Award of Excellence, Award of Commendation and the Trends People's Choice Award for the innovative LED lantern box design on Remuera Road.

The station and its architects, Opus and Herriot + Melhuish:Architecture, won best building award in the "Urban Design" category in 2011, awarded by the New Zealand Institute of Architects.[5]

Services edit

Auckland One Rail, on behalf of Auckland Transport, operates suburban services to Britomart, Swanson, Onehunga, Papakura and Pukekohe via Newmarket. The basic inter-peak weekday timetable is:[20][21][22]

  • 6 trains per hour (tph) to Britomart from Swanson and Papakura
  • 3 tph to Swanson
  • 3 tph to Papakura
  • 2 tph to Onehunga

Bus routes 30, 70, 75, 295, 309, 751, 781, the Inner Link and the Outer Link pass close to Newmarket station.[23]

On 24 June 2022, the Onehunga line was shortened to terminate at Newmarket due to a reduction of platforms at Britomart for City Rail Link construction.[24] Services to Britomart were restored during off-peak and weekends by March 2023.[25][26]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Dearnaley, Mathew (11 December 2009). "Open day to show off new world-class station". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
  2. ^ "[Untitled mixed news items]". The Evening Post. 4 February 1873. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  3. ^ "Auckland Electrifcation Map" (PDF). KiwiRail. 18 May 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 May 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Boardings and Alightings All Stations for Calendar Year 2018". Auckland Transport. 4 April 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  5. ^ a b "HOP Highlight in Public Transport Report". Auckland Transport. 29 June 2011. Archived from the original on 29 July 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  6. ^ Scoble, Juliet (2010). "Names & Opening & Closing Dates of Railway Stations" (PDF). Rail Heritage Trust of New Zealand. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 January 2018. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Revamped Newmarket train station opens". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Onehunga unlikely home for old station". 13 March 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Newmarket Junction". Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  10. ^ Dearnaley, Mathew (14 March 2007). "Delight at Government's decision to reopen Onehunga line". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
  11. ^ a b c d Dearnaley, Mathew (1 November 2007). "Ambitious design for rail junction". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
  12. ^ "Newmarket signal box to return home". 13 March 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  13. ^ Dearnaley, Mathew (5 March 2008). "Station lifted to secret location". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 5 March 2008.
  14. ^ "Businesses and residents delighted with Parnell train station opening". 14 March 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  15. ^ a b Dearnaley, Mathew (18 January 2010). "Big step up at Newmarket's $35m station". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  16. ^ "End of the line for Newmarket station". East And Bays Courier. 24 January 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  17. ^ Rudman, Brian (30 November 2009). "Let's have an extra stop for shopping". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
  18. ^ Dearnaley, Mathew (22 January 2010). "Train chiefs admit extra drivers needed". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  19. ^ "Electric trains". Auckland Transport. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  20. ^ "Southern Line" (PDF). Auckland Transport. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  21. ^ "Western Line timetable" (PDF). Auckland Transport. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  22. ^ "Onehunga Line timetable" (PDF). Auckland Transport. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  23. ^ "Central Guide" (PDF). Auckland Transport. Retrieved 19 March 2023.
  24. ^ Transport, Auckland. "Onehunga Line Changes". Auckland Transport. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  25. ^ "Onehunga Line train timetable (weekdays)" (PDF). Retrieved 5 July 2023.
  26. ^ "Onehunga Line train timetable (weekends)" (PDF). Retrieved 5 July 2023.