I popped over to Newmarket to see the official opening of Newmarket station today, and also to take a few photos of the place. It ended up being quite an interesting opening, as I had the opportunity to speak to quite a few people – a fair few councillors, KiwiRail Chairman Jim Bolger and even Steven Joyce himself (briefly).

I also had the opportunity to talk to the Manager of Veolia Transport in Auckland about how the operational side is going to work – and in particular whether passengers would need to wait impatiently while the train driver changes ends of the train, as unfortunately all Western Line trains will have to still change directions at Newmarket. Fortunately she explained that trains between Britomart and Newmarket will have a “pilot” (I assume that means a second driver or someone on a radio telling the driver what to do), so there will be no need for the lengthy delays that users of the Western Line travelling through Newmarket used to have to endure. Which is very good news indeed!

I also took quite a few photos of the new station. The quality isn’t fantastic, but hopefully it gives a fairly good idea of the station. I was pretty impressed.

The photo below shows the “bridge” leading to the station from Remuera Road. This is probably the most visible entrance to the station:

The next photo is from the main concourse looking down at the platforms. The brightness of the station is actually really nice, with the windows letting in a massive amount of light.

The next photo is relatively similar, and shows the platforms. Apparently while there are four platforms, only three will be regularly used. I think either platform 2 or platform 3 will be used only very occasionally. Platform four (the one with the controversy about the missing link from it to the west) is to be used for southbound Southern Line services. 

The photo below is down at platform level. Two interesting features at the “zig-zag” dividers between platforms, that seek to make the most of the very narrow amount of room available for four platforms while still providing a decent amount of seating (and does a good idea I think). It’s also good to note that there will be signs telling people when the trains are arriving – hopefully real-time signs and not just “timetabled” arrival times.

The last photo shows the official opening ceremony. And yes, that is the back of Rodney Hide’s head a couple of rows in front of where I was sitting. Rather unmistakable isn’t it?

I must say overall I am very impressed with this station. Britomart has proven that the quality of the station you provide does make a difference in terms of whether people choose to catch the train or not. I think that we should see quite a boost in the number of people who live or work in Newmarket using the train in the future. Hopefully trains from the west and south will be timed to allow easy transfers between them, although I’ll believe that when I see it.

Trains are running on Monday.

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  1. And so Monday or maybe Tuesday, the boys and I shall launch on another public transport excursion – ferry and then train to Newmarket, to sample the delights of this wonderful station… and New Market of coarse :).

  2. A pilot. I hadn’t thought of that. In Wellington if the leading driving cab fails and cannot be used then the train is driven from the rear cab with the guard calling signals etc over the radio. As for Broadway and the shops I thought they were pretty mediocre.

    1. A few things briefly. I mentioned that it would be interesting what the study into the CBD rail tunnel came up with. Oh, and I mentioned that hopefully it would be fourth time lucky for that project, after previously being proposed in the 1920s, 1950s and 1970s.

  3. I must visit the station and see the “wins” I got out of NZ Rail when processing their outline plan:

    – Public toilet on the main concourse
    – Covered roof over the Remuera to main concourse bridge
    – Extra seating on the platform
    – Total re-design of Remuera Road entrance.

    Just blowing my own trumpet 🙂

  4. Trust you aren’t responsible for the awkwardly skewed signage on the Remuera Road access; in design terms a total screw up!

  5. Actually I argued with NZ Railways that this should be a flat roof to offer better rain protection, but they wouldn’t budge on that. Architects don’t like their design “flair” to be criticised.

  6. One problem is that there isn’t a pedestrian crossing at the Nuffield St/Remuera Road pedestrian crossing immediately opposite the station. You have to make a 3-leg sojourn around the intersection. It was hilarious watching Joyce and all the other dignitaries make the long arduous crossing to get to Mecca Cafe after the opening.

    Mike Lee & I just ran across the road! LOL.

    Another improvement that I think is needed is better accessibility from Broadway. You could walk straight past the current entrance to Station Square from Broadway without knowing it’s there.

  7. Yes, a “barn dance” type crossing directly outside the station would have been a good idea. Unfortunately that is the ambit of the transport division of Auckland City Council. The Broadway entrance is being dealt with by the property division. I was looking at the outline plan from the planning division.

    I think you see the theme!

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