Frankton, Hamilton

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Frankton is located in New Zealand

Frankton is a central suburb of the city of Hamilton, New Zealand. It is the site of the city's passenger railway station, a major industrial-commercial stretch of State Highway 1, and a commercial shopping area. Frankton Borough Council was formed in 1913, but merged with Hamilton in 1917,[1] after a poll in 1916.[2]


Frankton Junction in 1980, showing 1975 station and site of the previous station (bottom centre). Whites Aviation Ltd :Photographs. Ref: WA-75315-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

Frankton is the location of Hamilton's only passenger railway station. The station is sited at the junction of the North Island Main Trunk line (NIMT) and the East Coast Main Trunk line, but passenger services on the East Coast line were discontinued and only the Northern Explorer passenger train stops six days a week on its journey between Auckland and Wellington on the NIMT. The station was formerly called Frankton Junction, a very important railway station, and included the now-closed Frankton Tea Rooms, where passenger trains without dining cars would stop to allow passengers to purchase food and drinks. Many workshops and railway workers homes were in the area west of the railway.

Commerce Street[edit]

The main street of Frankton, Commerce Street, and the streets surrounding it, form one of Hamilton City's largest suburban non-mall shopping areas. The area is dominated by the well-known, locally owned department store, Forlongs Furnishings of Frankton, established in 1946. In 2015 it closed, but reopened in 2016 in part of the store, as a furniture shop in Rawhiti St[3] and further expanded back into part of its Commerce St store in 2018.[4]


Frankton has long been one of Hamilton's industrial centres.[5] In addition to the Railway House Factory, another major employer was a factory on a 3.4 ha (8.4 acres) site, beside the railway, on the corner of Massey and Lincoln streets,[5] specializing in brawn, sausages and polonies[6] from 1901[7] to 2014. Pigs were slaughtered there from 1911 to 1999. It had a railway siding from 1912 until the 1990s. The factory had several owners, including Waikato Farmers' Bacon Co,[8] W.Dimock & Co Ltd[9] and J.C.Hutton Australia from 1926 to 1986. Hutton's then merged with Kiwi Bacon Co to become Hutton's Kiwi.[6] In 2007 Goodman Fielder were warned for misleading labels, as some of its pork was imported.[10] In 2014 they sold their meat brands to Hellers and 125 staff lost their jobs.[11]

V8 Supercars[edit]

The New Zealand leg of the Australian V8 Supercars centred on Hamilton Street Circuit in and around Frankton, yearly from April 2008 to 2012.


Frankton Tornado, August 1948

Three people were killed, seven victims were badly injured and damage to property was heavy after a tornado swept across Hamilton from the north-west shortly before midday on Wednesday 25 August 1948.[12]

The tornado, which appears to have originated in the Frankton or Forest Lake area, went through the business area of Frankton then over the hill into Hamilton West where it passed between Hamilton Lake and Victoria Street (the main street). Then, it travelled across the Waikato River to Hamilton East where damage occurred in Wellington, Naylor and Grey streets.

Buildings were lifted off their piles, chimneys were snapped off, houses were unroofed, trees uprooted, and power and telephone lines were left hanging in the streets. The air was filled with flying corrugated iron, branches of trees, timber and other debris. Heavy rain accompanied the storm and overhead lightning flashed and thunder boomed. The storm passed quickly and was succeeded by a strange calm.


  • Frankton Primary School, opened 3 April 1911.
  • St. Columba's Catholic School, established in 1918.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Waikato Times 27 November 2013
  2. ^ New Zealand Herald 19 May 1916
  3. ^ "Forlongs reopens under new ownership in Hamilton as a smaller store". Stuff. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Closed Forlongs department store rents out half its Frankton retail spaces". Stuff. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  5. ^ a b "The Frankton Neighbourhood Plan" (PDF). Hamilton City Council. 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Hutton's history ready to be written". NZ Herald. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  7. ^ "WAIKATO BACON COMPANY'S FACTORY. (Waikato Argus, 1901-10-23)". National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  8. ^ "A BACON VENTURE (Manawatu Times, 1926-06-10)". National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  9. ^ "AMALGAMATED BACON COMPANIES (Waikato Times, 1916-09-09)". National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Companies warned over bacon and ham labelling | Commerce Commission". Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Gates closed on Hutton workers". Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  12. ^ NZ Disasters and Tragedies

External links[edit]