Linden Railway Station
|Metlink suburban rail|
|Location||Rawson Street, Tawa, Wellington, New Zealand|
|Owned by||Tranz Metro|
|Line(s)||North Island Main Trunk|
|Opened||28 July 1940|
Linden Railway Station is located on the North Island Main Trunk Railway (NIMT) in Linden, New Zealand and is part of the suburban rail network of Wellington. It is double tracked, has an island platform layout, and is 14.91 km from Wellington Railway Station, the southern terminus of the NIMT.
Linden is served by Kapiti Line commuter trains operated by Tranz Metro under the Metlink brand. Trains run every thirty minutes off-peak, and more frequently during peak periods. A number of peak services run express between Porirua and Wellington and thus do not stop at Linden Station. Travel times by train are seventeen minutes to Wellington and four minutes to Porirua.
Services are operated by electric multiple units of the FT/FP class (Matangi). Two diesel-hauled carriage trains, the Capital Connection and the Northern Explorer, both pass through the station but do not stop.
The line through Linden was originally part of the Wellington - Manawatu Line built by the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company (WMR). The single track line opened on 24 September 1885 when services commenced on the first section of the line from Wellington to Paremata with the full line to Longburn completed in 1886. Trains were operated by the WMR until December 1908, when the New Zealand Railways Department purchased the WMR and incorporated its line into the NIMT.
On 19 June 1937, the Tawa Flat deviation to the south of Linden was opened to passenger services with double track from Tawa Flat to Wellington. It eliminated the circuitous single track route via Johnsonville to Wellington. The line through Linden was electrified in June 1940 and double track from Tawa Flat to Porirua was completed on 15 December 1957.
Linden station was opened on 28 July 1940, after more than thirty years of requests to NZR by developers, and by local residents wishing to avoid a walk of up to a mile from the Tawa Station. Apparently, those wishing to alight used to pull the emergency brake cord so that the train stopped in the vicinity of Collins Avenue. Don Carman recalls passengers debating as to whose turn it was to pull the cord. After Linden became recognised as an official stop, a simple wooden station shelter without a platform was provided for passengers.
In 1954, a diversion of the meandering Porirua stream north of Linden station cut off a loop of the stream and eliminated two old wooden road bridges by taking the stream under a new bridge built at the intersection of Collins Avenue, Linden Avenue, Beachamp and Findlay Streets. This allowed the Linden shopping centre to be developed on Collins Avenue on the west side of the railway as well as the east.
In conjunction with the double tracking of the line from Tawa Flat to Porirua in 1957, an island platform was constructed at Linden and a new larger shelter built from precast concrete panels replaced the original shelter. The original straight line became the northbound line while a new southbound line curves around the station. Pedestrian access between the north and southbound tracks was provided from Collins Avenue at the north end and a steel overbridge with ramps was constructed at the south end to provide access to Rawson and Hinau Streets. A feature of the overbridge was the high wooden sides to shelter pedestrians from the winds which are prevalent above Linden Station.
With the double tracking, barrier arms were installed for vehicular traffic on Collins avenue and pedestrian cribs provided. However, because northbound trains stopping at Linden lead to prolonged operation of the flashing lights, bells, and barrier arms, and a second train approaching can also keep the warning alarms operating for long periods, many pedestrians became habitual risk takers. The cribs were also poorly designed forcing some pedestrians to walk with their backs to the trains before stepping onto the railway line. A series of pedestrian deaths at Collins Avenue followed. This led to the installation of second train coming indicators and, in the late 1980s, to longer pedestrian cribs that ensured pedestrians always faced oncoming trains and took sufficient steps to look up and see approaching trains before stepping onto the railway line. There have been no pedestrian deaths since the installation of the longer cribs.
In the late 1970s, the original incandescent platform lights that automatically lit when stopping trains approached were replaced with more efficient permanently lit mercury vapour lights.
From April to June 2014 the corroded steel overhead footbridge was refurbished, and new lighting and signage provided. The high sides on the bridge were not restored leaving pedestrians exposed to the wind and driving rain.
Previously, electric passenger services stopping at Linden were trains hauled by ED and EW class electric locomotives, and DM/D and EM/ET class electric multiple units. ED locomotives hauled passenger trains from their introduction in 1940 but were rarely seen on passenger trains after the introduction of the EW class locomotives in 1952. The last ED operated in 1981. EW class locomotives introduced in 1952 pulled the majority of passenger trains from 1952 but became redundant with the introduction of EM/ET class multiple units in the early 1980s. The last EW hauled passenger service through Linden was on 11 February 1983. DM/D electric multiple units first ran on the line on 5 September 1949, and the last of this class were withdrawn from service after the arrival of the FT/FP class (Matangi) multiple units in 2011. The EM/ET class multiple units were introduced between 1982 and 1983 to replace locomotive-hauled trains and some of the DM/D electric multiple units and last operated on 27 May 2016 after additional FT/FP class (Matangi) multiple units were introduced.
- Rails through the Valley: The story of the construction and use of the railway lines through Tawa by Bruce Murray and David Parsons (2008, Tawa Historical Society) ISBN 978-0-473-14410-4
- Murray, Bruce (2014). A History of Tawa. Wellington: Tawa Historical Society. ISBN 978-0-473-25848-1.
- Metlink, Paraparaumu Line timetable, accessed 30 October 2007.
- Metlink, Kapity Train Line, timetable. Effective 20 January 2016
- John Yonge (editor), New Zealand Railway and Tramway Atlas, fourth edition (Essex: Quail Map Company, 1993), 16.
- Murray (2014), p. 154
- Murray & Parsons (2008), p. 33
- As at September 2016.
- Murray (2014), p. 228
- Murray and Parsons 2008, p. 36.