The Parnell Train station has been delayed once again and is now not due to open till April 2015. Auckland Transport has given no explanation for the delay which was announced to a special council committee dealing with the station and its impact on the Domain. The last time the committee met was back in 2011 before major works were undertaken to re-grade the tracks through the area to allow for the station to be built and this meeting was to start the process of sorting out pedestrian access from the station. Here is the executive summary of what was presented.
2. This Committee was established to make decisions as landowner about works on the Domain relating to the Parnell Rail Station.
3. At its meeting in November 2011, this committee approved 2954m2 of Domain land to be set aside for enabling works and the future western platform for the Parnell Rail Station. The Committee’s approval was subject to conditions, including New Zealand Railways Corporation and Auckland Transport entering into an Access Agreement with Auckland Council.
4. Enabling works were undertaken over the close line period in December 2011 – January 2012. Additional works for the pedestrian underpass, planting and pedestrian realignment on the Domain was undertaken during February – September 2012.
5. Construction of the station was intended to take place during December 2012 – January 2013. Auckland Transport expect that the majority of works will now take place in December 2014 – January 2015 with the station open by April 2015.
6. Auckland Transport is proposing to undertake preliminary engineering works for the station platform during the close of line in December 2013 – January 2014. To do so it requires confirmation of the general location of the platform on the Domain and pedestrian access routes through the Domain. Any preliminary engineering works on the Domain will be presented back to this committee for approval by September. The platform is in same
location as indicated on drawings presented to the Committee in 2011, but details of connections through the Domain were not defined at that time.
7. Auckland Transport proposes three new connections from the western platform through the Domain (refer Attachment A). Each connection provides the opportunity to access different parts of the Domain and recognises that they serve different functions.
- Route 1 (‘woodchip yard’) is the most direct route to the main part of the Domain.
- Route 2 (‘Watercare access road’) can be made fully accessible and provides access to the Tennis Centre, University and to the main part of the Domain via Lower Domain Drive.
- Route 3 (‘Carlaw Park’) opens up a part of the Domain that is largely unused and provides access to Stanley Street from Carlaw Park Lane.
8. Details of the structures will be presented for consideration and approval of this Committee by September.
9. Auckland Transport has requested the opportunity to make a presentation to provide the Committee with an update on station design and consultation which will follow on from this report.
The report attached to the agenda goes into how the three routes proposed above were chosen.
I think it is really disappointing that this station has once again been delayed again as it has a huge amount of potential to really help boost patronage by providing a station in an area with a lot of activity. In saying that I still think the station is in the wrong location and as such doesn’t make the best use of its potential. I feel it should be about 200m further north with one end providing a connection to roughly the intersection of Heather St and Bedford St, instead putting more weight on having a station next to a bush clad gully. As this map shows there is very little connection to the north of the station to the commercial and residential areas around The Strand.
At the meeting Auckland Transport also gave a presentation in which they have showed some new images of what the station may look like. First up is the top down view of the concept design.
And now time for some pretty graphics, here is the design looking north.
And looking from the platform down the proposed extension of Nicholls Lane which would provide excellent access to the business park at Carlaw Park as well as to the University using the new pedestrian and cycle path up through Grafton Gully.
And what the western platform may look like
And lastly from Nicholls Lane looking up at the station.
All up it looks like it will be a very unique station, just as shame it isn’t a little further north to provide even greater pedestrian connections.