Newmarket Railway Station, New Zealand

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Newmarket
Auckland Transport Urban rail
Newmarket Train Station Is Finished III.jpg
An overview of Newmarket Station shortly after its redevelopment.
Location Remuera Road, Newmarket, Auckland
Coordinates 36°52′11″S 174°46′44″E / 36.869626°S 174.778882°E / -36.869626; 174.778882
Owned by Auckland Transport, KiwiRail
Line(s) North Auckland Line
Newmarket Line
Platforms Island platforms, 180m[1]
Tracks Mainline (2),
Other (1)[1]
Construction
Platform levels 2
Parking No
Bicycle facilities Yes
Other information
Station code NWT
History
Opened 1873[2]
Closed January 2008
Rebuilt January 2008 - 2010
Electrified 25kV AC[3]
Previous names Newmarket Junction
Traffic
Passengers (2009) 3,489/day[4]
Services
  KiwiRail  
Preceding station   Transdev Auckland   Following station
Terminus
Western Line
toward Swanson
Onehunga Line
toward Onehunga
Southern Line
toward Papakura
The old station in 2007, viewed from Remuera Road
The new station under construction in 2009

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

The station opened in 1873 and in its historic configuration it consisted of an island platform, accessed by a ramp from Remuera Road (opposite Nuffield Street) and by a pedestrian overbridge which led to Broadway and Joseph Banks Terrace. In 2008 the historic station building and signalbox were removed and over the following two years the station was completely rebuilt, increasing the number of platforms to four and adding a concourse above the southern end of the station.[1] The redeveloped station opened on 14 January 2010.[6]

History[edit]

Historical station[edit]

The old building was one of four island platform stations in Auckland designed and built by George Troup, Chief Engineer for the New Zealand Railways Department. The station was built in 1908,[1] at the time of the installation of double track. Before closure, the head of the Newmarket Business Association had compared the situation at the dilapidated station as akin to Whangamomona, a railway ghost town in Taranaki, adding to the calls for a redevelopment of the station.[4]

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

The signal box at the north 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. It closed in early 2008 as part of project DART, being the last full-sized lever frame box on the national network.

The track layout of the former station, near Newmarket Junction (the junction of the Western and Southern Lines), forced some unusual movements. Trains from Britomart had to run past the junction to call at the station. There were two platforms in an island configuration, and all city-bound trains stopped at one platform, outwards trains stopping at the other. This was confusing as the outward-bound platform served both the Southern and Western Lines. This problem was 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 had become less prevalent following the higher frequency of the July 2007 timetable. From then trains used whichever platform was free, and trains 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 problems of passenger 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

For many years outbound Western Line trains reversed into a special siding, which then allowed them to enter the Western Line (to Waitakere). In July 2007 this reversing procedure ceased to be necessary, with the start of rebuilding as part of Project DART.

Historic station building

The fate of the historically and architecturally significant old station building is controversial, with various proposals having been put forward to demolish, refurbish, or relocate the building. Following the announcement on 14 March 2007 of the budget for the station's upgrade,[7] Minister of Finance Michael Cullen announced that $5 million would be put towards moving the building, possibly to a new site in Parnell[8] where it could serve as a station for the Auckland War Memorial Museum in the Auckland Domain. The station building and signal box were removed from the site on 3 March 2008 to an undisclosed storage location, as ONTRACK feared the buildings could be vandalised.[9]

Redeveloped station[edit]

Newmarket station was rebuilt for NZ$35 million between January 2008 and January 2010 as part of ONTRACKs Project DART.[1][10] The station was closed throughout the rebuild so two temporary stations, Newmarket West and Newmarket South, were used during this time. During the station redevelopment two temporary stations were built: Newmarket West (also called Kingdon Street) on the Western Line and Newmarket South, which is approximately 200m from the original station along the Southern Line.[11] 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 new carriages specifically designed for the Auckland network, which are to be introduced with electrification.[10]

New track layout
A view of the station from the north, showing the new track layout
Newmarket West, one of two temporary stations that served the area while the new station was being built
Newmarket South, the other temporary station

Integral to the redevelopment was the requirement to reorganise the track layout. The new station has twin islands and three tracks.[8] 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.[8]

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.[12][13]

Pedestrian access

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.[8]

Electrification
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. [14]

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

Awards

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]

Transdev Auckland, on behalf of Auckland Transport, operates suburban services to Britomart, Swanson, Onehunga, Papakura and Pukekohe via Newmarket. The basic inter-peak weekday timetable is:[15][16]

  • 8 trains per hour (tph) to Britomart
  • 3 tph to Swanson
  • 3 tph to Papakura, with 1 tph diesel train shuttle service Papakura-Pukekohe
  • 2 tph to Onehunga

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. 2014-05-18. Retrieved 2014-05-18. 
  4. ^ a b "$35million rail station gets great public feedback". News & events. Newmarket Business Association. 8 February 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "HOP Highlight in Public Transport Report". Auckland Transport. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "Revamped Newmarket train station opens". NZ Herald. Retrieved 22 March 2016. 
  7. ^ Dearnaley, Mathew (14 March 2007). "Delight at Government's decision to reopen Onehunga line". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  8. ^ a b c d Dearnaley, Mathew (1 November 2007). "Ambitious design for rail junction". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  9. ^ Dearnaley, Mathew (5 March 2008). "Station lifted to secret location". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  10. ^ a b Dearnaley, Mathew (18 January 2010). "Big step up at Newmarket's $35m station". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 January 2010. 
  11. ^ "End of the line for Newmarket station". East And Bays Courier. 24 January 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  12. ^ Rudman, Brian (30 November 2009). "Let's have an extra stop for shopping". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  13. ^ Dearnaley, Mathew (22 January 2010). "Train chiefs admit extra drivers needed". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 January 2010. 
  14. ^ "Electric trains". Auckland Transport. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  15. ^ "Southern Line timetable" (PDF). Auckland Transport. Retrieved 11 June 2016. 
  16. ^ "Western Line timetable" (PDF). Auckland Transport. Retrieved 11 June 2016.