Southern Line (Auckland)

The Southern Line in Auckland, New Zealand is the name given to suburban train services that operate between Britomart Transport Centre in central Auckland and Pukekohe via Newmarket.

Southern Line
AT Metro logo.png
Overview
StatusActive
OwnerKiwiRail (tracks and platforms), Auckland Transport (trains and buildings)
LocaleAuckland, New Zealand
Termini
Connecting linesEastern, Onehunga, Western
Stations17
Service
TypeCommuter Rail
SystemAT Metro
Operator(s)Auckland One Rail
Rolling stockAM class (Britomart – Papakura), ADL class (Papakura – Pukekohe)
Technical
Line length49.62 km (30.83 mi)
Number of tracks2
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification25 kV AC overhead (Britomart – Papakura)

RoutingEdit

From Britomart to Newmarket, Southern Line services use the Newmarket Line, then follow the North Auckland Line to Westfield Junction, and from thence onto the North Island Main Trunk (NIMT) line as far as Pukekohe, the terminus of the Southern Line. In its entirety, this line follows the original 1875 North Island Main Trunk route between central Auckland and Pukekohe.

The line, originally single-tracked, was duplicated, piecemeal, between 1909 and 1939. In 1915, the original single-track Parnell tunnel was bypassed by a twin-track tunnel. The older tunnel can be seen alongside the current one, between Parnell station and Newmarket Junction.

HistoryEdit

In 1930, the Westfield Deviation opened a new eastern route for the NIMT between Auckland and Westfield via Glen Innes. The route between Auckland and Westfield via Newmarket then ceased to be part of the NIMT. The portion between Newmarket and Westfield became part of the North Auckland Line (NAL), which runs between Westfield and Whangarei.

The Southern Line suburban services continued to run on the older route. A new line, called the Eastern Line, was introduced for services on the new route. While the Eastern and Southern lines have a different route between Auckland and Westfield, they share the same tracks between Westfield and Puhinui station.

Third Main LineEdit

A future third main line to be built as part of the Wiri to Quay Park project announced in 2017, work on which started in 2020 and is to be completed by 2024. It is expected to ease congestion on Auckland rail lines by allowing "through" trains to pass stationary trains at stations, improve rail freight access from the Port of Auckland to the Westfield yards and allow more frequent passenger and freight services.[1][2] The new line would be between Westfield and Wiri.

These improvements will avoid an estimated 175,000 annual freight movements on the state highway network. Work began at the end of 2020. The $315 million funding package for these works was announced as part of the Government's New Zealand Upgrade Programme.[1]

New stationsEdit

As part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, new stations are to be built at Drury East, Drury West and Paerata.[3]

ElectrificationEdit

Along with the rest of Auckland's suburban railway network, the Southern Line was electrified from Britomart to Papakura, with electric services beginning in 2014. Services between Pukekohe and Papakura are still provided by diesel multiple units (DMUs). In 2020, as part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme, the government announced $371 million in funding to extend electrification from Papakura to Pukekohe. The project is due for completion in 2023.[3]

ServicesEdit

Suburban services are operated by Auckland One Rail under the AT Metro brand.

Stations on the lineEdit

Stations in grey are closed or no longer served by the Southern Line.

Station Km from Auckland[4] Height above sea level (m) Current status
Britomart Transport Centre 0 km 4m below sea level Located beneath the site of the 1885-1930 Queen Street station. Open. New Zealand's second underground station. At this location Point Britomart station opened 24-12-1873 and closed 29-11-1885 and Queen Street station opened 30-11-1885 and closed 16-11-1930. New Zealand's lowest public point.[5]
Auckland 0 km 3 Located on Beach Road, Parnell. Opened 17-12-1930. Closed July 2003. Former Platform 7 renamed Strand Railway Station and retained for excursion services, and later, the Northern Explorer.
Parnell Opened 12-03-2017. Located on the western side of Parnell shops near the old Mainline Steam site on Cheshire St.
Newmarket 2.53 53 Open (Four platform junction station).
Remuera 4.04 81 Open. Uses 1902-era Troup-designed station and signal box.
Greenlane 5.53 57 Open
Ellerslie Racecourse Platform 5.8 50 Closed. Platforms still exist.
Ellerslie 6.96 31 Open
Penrose 8.44 23 Open
Southdown 10.26 4.2 Closed 2004
Westfield 11.27 7.6 Closed March 2017.[6]
Ōtāhuhu 12.51 9.44 Open
Mangere 13.28 10.66 Closed
Middlemore 14.33 8.8 Open
Papatoetoe 16.13 18 Open
Puhinui 17.66 19.8 Closed (Closed until 2021 for upgrades)[7]
Wiri 19.04 22.25 Closed 2005
Homai 20.88 30.78 Open
Manurewa 22.77 17 Open
Te Mahia 24.29 14.9 Open.
Takaanini 25.9 15.2 Open
Tironui 27.56 15.5 Closed 1980. Proposal for new station nearby at Walters Road lodged 2012.
Papakura 29.42 19.2 Open. Terminus for electric unit services.

The following section of unelectrified track is served by a diesel train shuttle service. Papakura is the transfer hub between services.

Station Km from Auckland[4] Height above sea level (m) Current status
Papakura 29.42 19.2 Open. Terminus for diesel train shuttle service.
Opaheke 31.92 14.5 Closed 1955. Known as "Hunua" until 1939.
Drury 34.81 9 Closed 1972. Proposal to re-open lodged 2012.
Runciman 36 8 Closed 1918
Paerata 43.31 45.1 Closed 1980
Pukekohe 47.8 60.65 Open. Terminus for diesel train shuttle service. Closed for redevelopment from 13 August 2022 to late 2024.[8]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Wiri to Quay Park - Third Main". KiwiRail. 2020.
  2. ^ "Agenda for a meeting of the Infrastructure Committee - 5.9 Hamilton to Auckland Passenger Rail – Progress Update and Future Direction" (PDF). Waikato District Council. 27 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b Coughlan, Thomas (29 January 2020). "Government announces billions of infrastructure spending, with roads the big winner". Stuff. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  4. ^ a b New Zealand Railway and Tramway Atlas (First ed.). Quail Map Co. 1965. pp. 3 & 4.
  5. ^ "Britomart Transport Interchange, Auckland: Alterations and strengthening of the former Chief Post Office" (PDF). Opus International Consultants. Retrieved 24 January 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "Westfield Station closing permanently from 12 March 2017". Auckland Transport. 14 March 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Puhinui Station Interchange" Auckland Transport Retrieved on 30 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Pukekohe Station Closure". Auckland Transport. Retrieved 26 July 2022.