Parnell railway station
|Auckland Transport Urban rail|
Parnell railway station from the citybound platform. The heritage Newmarket station building is on the southbound platform and is undergoing refurbishment.
|Location||Cheshire Street, Parnell, Auckland|
|Owned by||KiwiRail (track and platforms)|
Auckland Transport (buildings)
|Platforms||2 Side platforms|
|Opened||12 March 2017|
Parnell railway station is a station serving the inner-city suburb of Parnell in Auckland, New Zealand. It is situated on the Newmarket Line, approximately 600m north of Parnell Tunnel, and is located in the Waipapa Valley adjacent to Auckland Domain. It serves Southern Line and Western Line trains. Onehunga Line trains currently pass through the station without stopping.
The station opened on 12 March 2017 with relatively basic facilities and initially serving a limited number of lines. Future development will involve building a pedestrian bridge across the tracks to provide step-free access to the platforms, and constructing several new paths to provide more direct access to Auckland Domain, Parnell Town Centre and the University of Auckland.
It was originally intended that the station would eventually serve all three lines which pass through it. This was contingent on the removal of the Sarawia Street level crossing in Newmarket, removing the signalling constraints which affected the line. A bridge built to replace the level crossing, linking Laxon Terrace with nearby Cowie Street, allowed the removal of the crossing.
After a plan to lease part of the area as a bus depot was cancelled, KiwiRail and Auckland Council were asked in 2010 by the outgoing Auckland Regional Council to make an early start on construction of the proposed station, which was to cost $13 million or more, to ensure that there would not need to be costly extra work after the electrification of the line as part of the Auckland railway electrification. It was proposed that several million dollars saved during the upgrade of the Newmarket station be allocated to this new station.
An early proposal was to integrate the new station with some of the historic railway workshop sheds of the adjacent Mainline Steam depot but nothing eventuated. The Mainline Steam Heritage Trust had its lease on the depot terminated by KiwiRail and completed its move from the site in June 2015. The sheds were demolished in September 2015.
The heritage station building from the Newmarket station (a historic building designed by George Troup and built in 1908 that was removed during a 2008–10 upgrade) is a feature of the station. Relocation of the building was planned for December 2016 and external refurbishment works were expected to be finished by April 2017.
In late 2015, Auckland Transport advised that opening the Parnell station to passenger services was being postponed until the completion of a road bridge at Cowie Street, replacing the nearby level crossing on Sarawia Street. AT received approval from independent planning commissioners in June 2016. The following November, the commissioners' recommendation for the bridge was appealed. If AT had been unable to address the concerns expressed in the appeal, an Environment Court hearing (most likely in early 2017) would have decided whether the appeal would be upheld.
In July–August 2018, the Cowie Street bridge to Laxon Terrace was completed and opened and the Sarawia Street level crossing was closed to road traffic. As a result, a new timetable introduced on 26 August 2018 allowed Parnell to become a stop on all Southern Line and Western Line services.
Future work will provide walking links to the Domain and the campuses of the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology. In mid-November 2018, a walkway was established connecting the Parnell Station to the University of Auckland's Carlaw Park Student Village and the Carlaw business centre, which is near the University of Auckland's City Campus on Symond Street.
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