A photo from reader Liam of a train approaching a foggy Mt Eden station yesterday morning. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to the Mt Eden station after the CRL is completed and if Auckland Transport try to run what would likely be very inefficient Western line to Newmarket services. Personally I prefer the alternative of a simpler running pattern with transfers at Newton and done so with a higher frequency on those routes.

Foggy Train

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  1. I imagined that there would be a city circle route. Of course it would mean a redesign of the Newmarket Station but then it should never have been built like it is in the first place.

    1. The beauty of the CRL is that there doesn’t need to be a circle route. If you look at the proposed running patterns, you can always get from one city centre station (Newton, K Road, Aotea, Britomart, Grafton, Parnell, Newmarket) to another without having to make a transfer. (With the current scheme on the AT website the exception is getting from Grafton station to Parnell station – you’d have to transfer for that).

    2. Circle lines are inherently unstable and encounter frequent delays – the “Circle Line” in London hasn’t been a true circle since late 2009, for that very reason…

  2. I took the train in from Henderson that morning – we had an ADK unit, which was really unusual. First time I’ve seen one on the Western Line. Suffice to say there was not enough capacity, the train was packed.

    1. IIRC, The ADKs don’t handle the tight turns and steep grades of the Western line too well – they run, but end up late.
      The Western line used to be exclusively ADLs but they’re both needed elsewhere (they’re the only trains that can do Onehunga, until the end of this month anyway) and too small for today’s peak patronage. As Steve D said, they are seen out west off peak, as well as weekends, and occasionally to cover breakdowns.

  3. I always look fondly at the former Mt Eden station building now nestled under the North Auckland Line just past the New North Road over bridge at Morningside. I look forward to using Newton.

  4. I take the Western line to Grafton, it’s a really efficient trip – 40 minutes from Ranui. A lot of passengers disembark at Grafton, more so than Newmarket anecdotally. Maybe second highest after Britomart?

    The CRL would make this trip less efficient for all of these passengers, meaning an extra trip from Newton – to the extent where it might be faster to walk from Newton to my office than wait for a train to Grafton.

    1. How many are disembarking at Grafton to get a bus into town though? That’s what I used to do, given that it was easily the fastest way to get to midtown. That trip is one that gets all the more better with the CRL.

      Sure a few existing customers might end up with a longer trip (but at faster frequencies, so possibly more convenient), but thousands of new customers get a far faster trip into town. If I had to pick between serving Grafton, or serving Newton, K Rd and Aotea, I’d sure pick the latter!

      1. While of course everyone getting high frequency direct services to their destinations would be ideal some compromises need to be made in order to deliver the extremely high value of high frequency, around the clock, and predictable lines.

        Last figures I saw were that threequarters of Western Line riders completed their journey at Britomart. Now it’s clear that Grafton in particular is going to get more and more popular as a destination with the new Uni campus right there, but still; Newton, K’Rd, Aotea, Britomart, Parnell are surely going to take the vast majority of the riders post CRL. for Grafton and NM, a quick change at Newton won’t be that hard, especially with the frequencies through the CRL and an all weather island platform.

        Furthermore with the Western Line going direct to the city then Grafton will be served by direct services from the south and depending on how the Southern Line enters the city [Via Parnell or via Grafton; and I favour the latter]. Then there will be a high frequency, high quality direct ride between Middlemore and AK Hospital and Med School [Grafton], for example.

        So even if a number of Western Line users will have the cost of a [quick] transfer this will be more than balanced by

        1. The majority getting to their city destination quicker and more directly and
        2. Gains for others from the south; which like the west includes a lot of school and Tertiary students.

        The only other option post CRL would be to have some services heading to Grafton and NM some to the city, which would mean sacrificing ‘turn up and go’ frequencies, people getting on the wrong service and having to transfer anyway…. The transfer is a small cost to pay for the great freedom of extremely frequent and completely predictable services.

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