Today is a bit of a history day. Despite the running down and removal of our PT system over the decades we know that new life is currently being breathed into it so I believe it is important to remember just how far we have come in a relatively short space of time. One of the areas to see the most dramatic change has been to the rail network around Newmarket which was changed from a run-down station into a fairly amazing looking interchange (although we need the station square fixed up). These photos hopefully reflect that (and thanks to Craig for them).

Newmarket Station

Before

After

There have also been some massive changes to the area around Grafton. Previously a single track snuck through an area that is now home to one of the busier stations on the network.

Grafton Station Before

Before

After

Looking up the hill towards Grafton

Before

After

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42 comments

  1. The new stations are nice. But why are the backs of buildings so ugly so often? Coils of barbed wire are an especially bad look.

    1. Because the designers didn’t care, and the Council either didn’t have the will, or the power, to force them to do better.

      That said, rail-sides of developments are ugly the world over – Paris, beautiful Paris, is no better.

      Not that I wouldn’t take a green wall here. But would I take it over using the same funds to instead improve transport? Maybe not.

  2. One thing that hasn’t changed before or after is the crappy trains!
    Roll on the new EMUs starting this year.

  3. That’s not the before I remember. When I was at school in the 90s I used come in on the train to Newmarket often. It was more exciting than Mangere, especially on a school day 🙂 Back then it was a small wooden shelter beside a somewhat historic decrepit wooden building, and the apartments on the left didn’t exist, nor did the ones on the right. Everything was in worse condition than what we see here.

    Incredible changes. And yes, that we had only a single line out west until 2010 is hard to imagine, it seems so illogical (yet was very much real).

  4. I’ve seen a 1999 picture of Newmarket, thats even more incredible. The top picture above shows signs of minor upgrades, but the 1999 pic has just the dilapidated old station, and no development around it at all.

  5. In the 1970s, when I went to school, Newmarket was actually quite a pleasant station; it was staffed (ticket office, etc) and there was a waiting room where, iirc, in winter they even lit a fire. At the northern end of the platform there was a tunnel going east to the railway workshops, located where the apartment buildings now are. Mind you, everything was somewhat run down and rather basic.

    1. Great images Geoff. Yes I can remember this condition, this gives a very clear sense of just how total was the abandonment of rail travel was in this phase of the car age.

      And what a tragedy of shortsightedness it is that we gave all this land to Fay Richwhite to flog off while they even further ran down our rail inheritance under the fraudulent ideology of freemarket ‘efficiency’. Even just one more track through here and some space for a better junction would make for much more resilience and higher capacity network. Crooks.

      1. I understood that the land at Newmarket was sold by NZRC before privatisation as part of the process to reduce NZRC’s debt before the sale.

        1. “I understood that the land at Newmarket was sold by NZRC before privatisation as part of the process to reduce NZRC’s debt before the sale.”

          If the stories about the sales price being very low are true, then thus losing the state a valuable property in a prime location which got snapped up rather quickly by developers who understood its true worth. So NZRC reduced its debt a tiny bit, and we all (as taxpayers and PT passengers) lost big time. Shades of asset sales 2013.

        2. Pretty scary the lack of vision, which as you say is being repeated. Newmarket/Grafton stations are going to be very very busy with the new UoA campus in a few years, given the closure of the Tamaki and Epsom sites. They could have had a fourth track as a minimum, would have also provided some contingency following a network failure for example, but no. Always thought would be ironic if he uses the trains in Switzerland.

  6. No matter how interesting I find the normal posts on this blog about public transport, they always appear be negative in nature and about fighting a losing battle most of the time.
    Nice to see a postive post for a change.

    1. We have been very positive about quite a number of PT issues e.g. we think that the new network is great and can’t wait for it to be rolled out. We are really looking forward to the new trains and think they will be fantastic and despite some teething problems we are strong supporters of integrated ticketing. The next few years are going to be so transformational to PT it is very exciting.

  7. Although it seems a shame that when they closed the Kingdon street road crossing, they did not repurpose the overpass to totally grade seperate the remaining pedestrian crossing

    1. I think the overpass you’re referring to is the former Lion Breweries internal access (since removed).

  8. I think station square’s looking a lot better these days with the new seating spread around the square. I wish they would put a few seats in the upper level of the newmarket station but I understand AT don’t want seats there in order to keep people moving through.

    1. I was thinking that the last time I went to Newmarket on the train. They have added some greenery and together with the new seating, it’s had a positive effect.

  9. Showed the Newmarket pic to the Other Half. He used to work in a building overlooking the station and was astonished at the difference.

  10. Seeing some of these as a relative newbie in Auckland (almost 9 years) I get a sense of how freaked out people must be at the growth rate of the place – although at the same time I’m struggling to understand how anyone could think that the growth is a bad thing (even a little bit)!

    1. No that was on the other side of Khyber Pass Rd. Grafton Station is behind where the old furniture store was on the corner of Park Rd.

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