Auckland Transport have announced that construction will start next year on an upgrade to the Pukekohe Station, turning it into an interchange with the buses that will serve the area.

Pukekohe Interchange Graphic

Construction will begin in the first half of 2016 on the upgrade of Pukekohe Station to a new bus-train interchange.

The project, being delivered in partnership with the NZ Transport Agency, is expected to cost about $13 million.

The upgrade will feature a park and ride for about 80 vehicles, a six-bay bus interchange, cycle parking, a covered walkway and a new canopied pedestrian over-bridge linking buses to trains. Auckland Transport is about to begin work on detailed design.

The new bus-train interchange is at the heart of the new public transport network to be rolled out across Pukekohe and Waiuku by October 2016. New bus services, operating every 30 minutes, seven days a week from 7am to 7pm, will connect to trains at the interchange.

Temporary bus stops will be in place during construction to allow the new network to operate smoothly until the interchange is completed in mid-2017.

The new public transport network is designed to maximise the efficiency of the entire public transport network between buses and trains and provide more frequent journeys to get around south Auckland and the rest of the region.

Franklin Local Board Chair, Andy Baker, welcomes the proposed changes to Pukekohe Station.

“We all know about the pressures of growth in the wider Pukekohe area and the challenges we currently have with our rail based public transport.

“The upgrade of Pukekohe station is incredibly important as we try to make travelling by rail more attractive to people and this is actually something that we can control.

“Creating the ability for people to transfer between buses and trains, together with the improved bus networks in Pukekohe will hopefully reduce the need for people to park their cars in and around the station.

“Similarly, we want to really promote the use of bicycles to get to and from the station, especially with Pukekohe being a relatively flat and easy place to bike around. I am keen to see additional things like a coffee cart or café at the station and a reflection of our history there as well.”

Councillor Bill Cashmore says it’s great that improvements are on the way for Pukekohe commuters.

“It’s a huge growth area and I’m pleased to see we are finally getting a transport interchange that will be able to cope with the increased demand.”

Auckland Transport Project Director, Nick Seymour, says the new interchange will make it easy to use the new bus services being introduced with the new Pukekohe public transport network.

“Pukekohe Station will be at the heart of the area’s new public transport network, so one of our priorities is to provide a modern and accessible interchange that connects commuters both locally and to the wider region.”

Key features are likely to include: 

  • A six-bay bus interchange
  • A covered walkway between the new bus stops and station over-bridge
  • A new canopied pedestrian over-bridge, linking the buses with the rail platform and Station Road with stairs and lifts thereby making it more accessible
  • A park and ride facility for approximately 80 vehicles
  • Cycle parking facilities
  • Plans to provide public toilets within the interchange area
  • Improved pathways leading to the interchange
  • Improvements to the Manukau Road and Custom Street and Harris Street intersections to aid bus movements.

A public information day has been organised on 14 October 2015 at Pukekohe Station from 5 to 7 pm for members of the public to speak with the project team and get their questions answered.

Auckland Transport will also be engaging with mana whenua, Franklin Historical Society and the Franklin Local Board to identify possible opportunities to incorporate cultural and historical connections into the design.

Here is the confirmed bus routes that will serve the Pukekohe area

New Network Pukekohe Post Consultation Map

Now if we could also get some wires strung up between Puke and Papakura along with some additional trains to run on the tracks that would make things even better.

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    1. Good point, needs to be confirmed – though I think that wouldnt be that hard? Just make sure the overbridge is high enough, and pylons can be added to the platforms without creating pinch points.

  1. Modest question – instead of getting cycle parking (which is easy, and doesn’t do much on its own), can we have BIKEWAYS to the train station? I HOPE the “improved pathways” part covers it, but I am concerned it may well not. Maybe I am too cynical?

    We fix up roads when they aren’t good enough to drive to a new development. We add new park & ride car parks and bus improvements here. We should include at least some new sections of cycleways around any new or upgraded train stations / interchanges.

    1. As Pukekohe like Papakura, is predominantly on the flat, bikeways between the station and the major parts of each town would work very well – bikeways that make use of existing infrastructure (footpaths, road edges, paths through parks etc). Papakura has lots of walkways already that could be linked up into a cycle path network. Cycle pathways that link schools in Pukekohe and in Papakura better into the surrounding suburbs, would do much to increase non-car-based movement around each town.

  2. Wonder how much of the scheme will become redundant should electric be installed and therefore that money could have gone towards installing electric. Seems to me that this is a bus improvement not a rail upgrade which as shown in the recent council meeting is sorely lacking.

    1. While I agree that electrifying is important, that will be MUCH more expensive than this (13 million versus if I remember right, an estimated 100+ million, which may not include the new trains).

      And while this may be a “bus improvement”, it will be one that is instrumental in improving bus patronage AND rail patronage, so actually arguably bolstering the rail electrification case by increasing rail users. bring it on.

    2. Err? How’s does any of it become redundant? Electric trains still need stations and passengers, and especially passengers arriving by bus and bike… So to answer your question: none of it becomes redundant.

    3. I would think the station upgrade would remain the same post-electrification?

      The project is very positive, but it does once again highlight the incredible difference in PT spending between the south and the northwest. The northwest has significantly greater traffic congestion, but almost no PT spending.

      1. Comms on Te Atatu bus interchange has been extremely quiet since local residents scuppered the initial location northwest of the motorway interchange.

        Apart from a few shoulder bus lane improvements on motorway, and transit lanes on Te Atatu Road and Lincoln Road (being built / proposed, respectively) and a Western Busway (just being scoped, who knows how many years to go before it has a chance), there isn’t that much out there, it seems.

  3. Why are the trains going the wrong way on that image, and why are they white with green doors? Great news about the upgrades though.

    1. How do you know which way they’re going? The diesel-hauled carriage sets could go with the engine leading or following.

      That said, we won’t be using locomotive-hauled carriages to Pukekohe at all any more. To be truly accurate, they should show the DMUs.

  4. Looking at that drawing of Pukekohe station, it would appear the plan needs a major revamp. There are several issues with it, particularly:

    1) Why do passengers have to go up over a bridge to get to the platform? Why not put the platform right alongside the park ‘n ride and bus drop-off?

    2) Assuming the tracks beside the park n ride are the stabling sidings, where do freight trains go? Surely they are not planning to continue terminating subbies on the increasingly busy freight mains?

    It seems to me, they should be terminating the subbies beside the park ‘n ride/bus drop-off, with level cross-platform pedestrian access, and keeping the mainlines clear for freights.

    1. Perhaps they’re proposing an island platform for passengers with freight lines outside? Or perhaps they plan to gate the station so want to control access? Apparently numbers of people are not tagging on till the transfer at Papakura so this may be wise…?

    2. It’s the existing platform and building upgraded in the same way old platforms nearer the city were done, that’s all. A $13M job, not a $30M+ one. Would be nice to wipe the slate clean and lay the tracks in an ideal bypass format, but that would only eat into the chances of other important upgrades being done. There will only ever be one subbie idle at once and it’s inside station limits, so running freights around is fairly easy. I predict that the leap to a Papakura type of terminus with stabling moved south would come with electrification when that finally happens.

    3. The drawings have missed out tracks between the line beside the station platform and the proposed bus station.

      At present there is a third track available between the north-bound platform and the sidings which is used to allow north-bound freight trains to either pass passenger trains waiting at the platform or to allow the freight train to wait until the passenger train departs.

      At present there are three sidings.

      If an electrified service continued south to Taukau, Pokeno, Huntly or Frankton Junction, there would be almost no need for the sidings and the space could be used for the bus station or to increase the parking, which will increase dramatically once the electrification arrives at Pukekohe.

      I do have queries about the bridge design.

      Why spend money on lifts? Surely there is more than enough room on the platform and at the bus station for wheel-chair friendly ramps? Why is the bridge not extending to Custom Street, so that pedestrians from the main part of Pukekohe can have a level walk to ground once they have got onto the bridge from the station ( and vice versa). The main pedestrian only demand for the station will be toward Pukekohe, why not provide the most desired pedestrian route with a reasonably quick and low effort route rather than the convoluted route proposed and keep those pedestrians out of the carpark and bus station.?

      1. It’s important to have additional track bypassing the platform adjacent ones, if only more of our network had this it would be much more resilient and higher capacity for both freight and passenger services. And express and intercity services could be properly accomodated.

        Middlemore, with its war legacy side platforms and constricted site is going to be relatively expensive to retrofit with third and fourth lines for the growing freight trade.

        No complaints about lifts; build it once and right.

  5. Is there a date for electrification? My colleague currently drives to Papakura from Pukekohe and catches the train from there. I’m sure she’s not the only one.

    1. Exactly the same issue for my colleage, not that he has any choice though, as he would be catching the last train home south, which terminates in Papakura with no connection…

      Not sure why AT does this, surely the last service should run the full distance on any line, yet they do the same in the West, running the last train westbound Mon-Thurs to Henderson only. Also with the NEX, the latest bus to Silverdale will be around 10:30 or so.

  6. Cool except no one wants to ride in the worn out units that are ex Perth they’re noisey and slow and irde badly. The SA Units towed or pushed by aging diesel electircs were far better in every way motive power breaking down only meant another loco not a whole new unit. Great spend 30 mill if you want it won’t bring anymore customers till you sort the real problem and extend electrification only another 80km and you’d link up with the 25kv all the way to Palmy just saying don’t shoot the piano player

    1. In some ways this is what the Europeans might call a pre-metro. Build the stations and public-transport interchanges, but run a light level of service with cheap rolling stock until service levels or finances allow a conversion to full-scale heavy metro. So it’s not an irrational way to do things.

      I’d be surprised if AT ordered any new rolling stock before the CRL gets signed-off, amongst other things, the cynic in me says AT want there to be plenty of footage of crammed trains to bolster their case with the public.

      As for electrification further south, its the sort of issue you’d save up for post-CRL when the Pukekohe traffic has built up, you have some spare EMU’s, the Perth units are falling to bits and so there’s a good business case to spend $100m so you can run an all-electric network.

      Beyond that, the issue with going to Hamilton and beyond is you need:
      1) A terminus for those longer-distance trains (which will probably need to be open-air rather than Britomart).
      2) AT and Kiwirail to cooperate – there is limited rail capacity out of Auckland at the best of times, someone is probably going to need to pay for some extra tracks.
      3) Some rolling stock to run

    2. Are you serious / correct in stating that there is only an 80km gap in our rail electrification ? That’s a tiny amount! Why have they never filled in that last gap? Why in heaven’s name do we have such a stupid government?

      1. The rail line between Pukekohe and Hamilton is a single track passing through a swamp. Electrifying through there would be a heck of an engineering challenge. Plus there is the point that the Hamilton-PN electrification is on a different phase (or something like that) than the Auckland metro, meaning they couldn’t be linked up. Plus there’s the point that yelling that other people are stupid for doing something you don’t understand makes you look childish.

        1. Dolores, sorry if I offended you – wasn’t yelling, just had an exclamation mark as I was genuinely surprised the length remaining is so little. I just honestly can’t understand how we can have such a ridiculous situation where they have managed to electrify a train line all the way from Wellington, through some exceptionally windy and hilly country across most of the country, and yet what would appear to me to be the simplest part of all – ie relatively flat country, appears to you to be a “heck of an engineering challenge”.

          Surely somebody in government, at some stage in the past, must have had some inkling that electrification of the entire train line would be better than just two different parts of it, on two different systems. Seems obvious to me. Apologies if that blindingly obvious screw up by someone just seems like me being childish to you.

        2. From what I understand, in my limited knowledge, we currently have a situation where the electric locos on the southern end of the line have to decouple as they near the northern part. We also now have a government department seriously considering getting new diesels to run the full length of the line, and not considering doing (what would seem to any sane, rational, but completely uneducated person), a full length electrification. I’m genuinely interested in understanding how that could come about. Makes no sense to me, but evidently seems logical response to you? Elucidation welcomed, thanks.

        3. > electrify a train line all the way from Wellington

          It’s not electrified from Wellington. The electrification starts at Palmerston North. Wellington has electrification for its own suburban passenger services, on a completely different system, but even that ends at Waikanae.

      2. Because it would cost around $500m for benefits that would take close to a century to be realised, and in the meantime sink the business financially. In other words, it’s not worth doing. There’s no economic sense, and very little environmental sense, in electrifying a low volume freight railway. The Americans have lines that carry 100 times the tonnage, and even at that level it still isn’t economic.

        1. Completely agree, we should be doing minor upgrades; corner realignments, passing loops, double and triple tracking where necessary, crossing resolutions at about $100m a year across all investors and really getting the usage up, introduce regional services and then electrification will be justified.

        2. If anything they would look at electrifying Tauranga to Auckland, but even that seems like it would be quite uneconomic.

          Agree they should spend the money on passing loops, curve easements and track upgrades. Maybe eventually a bypass of the swamp with a double track section 1km to the west with a long cut and fill job.

          1. I have ridden on a Channel tunnel train running on low voltage third-rail supply in southern England and high-voltage overhead supply in the Chunnel and in France. Took a second or two to change supply at the tunnel entrance. The North Island variety of voltages is a lesser problem than is set out above. Did you know that the high-voltage supplied locos presently working the North Island Palmerston North to Frankton Junction supply their motors with the same voltage as that available from the overhead lines between Waikane and Wellington? Multi-supply locos just need a few more windings in their on-board transformers and some extra electronic switching. Its just like having a multi-voltage power supply for your international travel lap-top.

      3. Because we have a government of stupid people ……..

        And I guess we have a lot of voters who don’t realise how stupid most National party actions are because they don’t read informative blogs like this and get there news from mike hoskins et al.

  7. Their bus network is quite efficient. It uses the least amount of bus to serve the area.

    If they could increase the peak frequency to at least 15min would be better.

    Other auckland suburb should learn from it.

    1. Pitty about the operating hours though, the first bus is too late to connect people for the earliest train connections to get to work in time for a 7am start as they only run between 6am and 9pm. Similarly getting back if you are late worker.

  8. Is there any discussion at all about the possibilty of rail to Pokeno in the future? Which would include Tuakau. Being that there is the massive development/expansion of the township

    1. Not from AT there hasn’t been. The problem is Tuakau and Pokeno are outside the Auckland region so it would need to be funded by the Waikato Regional Council

      1. And in that regard, Hamilton should be buying the diesels from Auckland and running them from Pokeno/Tuakau down to Hamilton CBD and back.

        Start with morning and evening services return and go from there. I think Patrick might have done a post on this ages back.

        Let the govt pay for infrastructure that crosses regional lines.

          1. Perhaps the obvious short term service [pre Puke electrification] would be a Hamilton-Papakura diesel service, in other words a Waikato extension of the Pukekohe-Papakura run. Would obviously need much more resources; more trains, and station builds in Waikato… Somewhat tricky to divvy-up between WRC and AT, but hardly impossible. Basically an NZTA role. However given that NZTA are already disproportionately spending in the Waikato on the massive RoNs-a-rama there, it’s hard to see it happening.

  9. Are Waikato Regional Council keen on introducing rail services to link with Auckland? I do remember issues surrounding Quay Park, Papakura, the current Hamilton Station & Their unused underground station. It would be an fantastic service.

    1. Unless its really high speed and direct (limited stops, meaning additional lines?) I doubt its a better service than the buses – from a time-perspective.

      1. As someone who will soon be making this trip regularly, I would FAR rather a train. You need to be able to freely walk on a trip that long and luckily the train line already passes through most towns, the expressway doesn’t.

      2. The point of my suggested plan was not to try to compete on time, but on serving those by-passed communities. Would require subsidy, for sure. No need to take it passed Papakura, or perhaps Onehunga, rely on transfers to the great EMU service from there; all about local access not express speed. Not really intercity at all, but edge city.

  10. I visited the public information session tonight about the Pukekohe bus-train interchange
    First up I must say the proposed interchange combination of buses & trains is a good thing, but there are several serious flaws which is quite disappointing.
     There are no upgrades to the train station at all except for the over bridge, this has been talked about as a train station upgrade for several years but it is not even close. The major flaw is there is no rain shelter planned for the train station. So people are going to come of this new ramp straight into the rain. You would think shelters would be the least they could do, I shouldn’t need to have to dash across the open to the old train station with my kids.
     King st & Manukau rd roundabout. This is a major serious omission from the project, now all these people are going to be dumped at the train station – how are they going to get to the town centre? The roundabout is really dangerous there is no way my kids can cross it. Couldn’t a long ramp head from the overbridge to stretch out over Stadium Drive and down to King Street? Or even the installation of traffic lights?

    1. I totally agree on the roundabout Adam. I live in the city centre and thought I’d take a visit to Puke a couple of months ago on one of my days off. I was shocked and appalled with the absolute lack of pedestrian amenity coming off the bridge towards the centre of town. It was only by the grace of some drivers that I crossed the road. And yes, there’s going to be a bus stop and bridge with canopy but they’ve forgotten about shelter at the station itself, unless they are going to open up the Station building and redevelop it with waiting rooms etc

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