Eastern Line, Auckland
|Eastern Line route map|
The Eastern Line is the name of the suburban rail service in Auckland, New Zealand between Britomart and Manukau via the North Island Main Trunk and Manukau Branch. Services are operated by Transdev under the AT brand.
The line from Auckland - Westfield via Glen Innes was constructed as the Westfield Deviation of the North Island Main Trunk. This deviation had been proposed as early as the 1870s, but various events meant that it was never constructed, until traffic on the Newmarket Line began to experience significant delays. The Westfield Deviation avoided the major grades of the former main line, which had a highest point of 81m above sea level, compared with the new line's highest point of 24m.
A small reclamation had been made in the early 1920s 2 km out of Queen Street into Mechanics Bay for goods yards and maintenance sheds. The remaining 14.28 km (8 miles & 70 chain) section was built as the Westfield Deviation between 1924 and 1930 by the Public Works Department as part of general improvements to Auckland's rail network. The Purewa Tunnel, a major engineering work halfway between the city and Glen Innes, was built in the mid-1920s by experienced miners who had worked on the construction of the North Auckland Line.
The Westfield Deviation via the Purewa Tunnel opened for goods traffic on 1 September 1929 using the down line to Westfield for single-line working, but was not used for passenger traffic until the up line to Auckland was opened on 11 May 1930. The construction and opening of this line coincided with the then new Auckland Railway Station.
The section from Mechanics Bay to Orakei required significant reclamation over Hobson Bay. At the same time a new road, Tamaki Drive, was built alongside part of the railway line. A notable feature of the deviation is that no road-rail level crossings were created by its construction. The line was completed on 24 September 1929, but did not open for all traffic until 11 May 1930.
In December 2014, all trains using the Eastern Line began terminating at Manukau Train Station, rather than alternating between Manukau and Papakura. Electrification of the Auckland suburban network was completed in July 2015, and all suburban services on this line are electric.
- "Good Progress - Auckland Railway Deviation". Evening Post. 12 February 1926. p. 8. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
- AJHR 1930 D1 page xvii
- Pierre, Bill (1981). North Island Main Trunk. Wellington: Reed. p. 178. ISBN 0-589-01316-5.
- Bill Pierre (1981). North Island Main Trunk An Illustrated History. A W Reed.
- "Route of Westfield Deviation (map)". New Zealand Herald (Papers Past). 4 May 1925.
- "Judges Bay Embankment (photo)". New Zealand Herald (Papers Past). 2 June 1926.
- "Purewa Tunnel portal (photo)". New Zealand Herald (Papers Past). 23 April 1926.
- "The Westfield Deviation in use (photo)". New Zealand Herald (Papers Past). 3 September 1929.
- "Westfield Deviation at Purewa Station (photo)". Auckland Star (Papers Past). 29 August 1929.
- "Another map of Deviation". New Zealand Herald (Papers Past). 5 September 1929.
- "First Express on Deviation (photo)". New Zealand Herald (Papers Past). 19 September 1930.
- "Aerial view of Deviation (photo)". New Zealand Herald (Papers Past). 5 September 1929.