When going through the City Rail Link business case for yesterday’s post, I left out one aspect I thought readers might be quite interested in, details about the stations being added or upgraded as part of the project. They say

Station entrances have been designed to address the needs of each station in terms of function, performance and personality, as well as the needs of the particular urban context into which they are to be inserted. Effort has been made in placing and configuring the above-ground components of the station entries and other station components to maximise local benefits. This included consideration of:

  • potential for architectural treatments and materiality
  • scale, massing and form
  • activation of street frontages
  • preserving important heritage structures
  • transit oriented developments
  • potential to explore inclusion of Iwi cultural landscape and design themes.
Aotea Station Design Platform Mar - 16
Aotea Station platform

On to the details about the stations themselves, this is laid out in the the table below

CRL Business Case - Station information

Britomart will get three additional escalators but also lose one entrance. With a reduction to four platforms post-CRL I’m guessing some of the new escalators could relate to improving access at the eastern end of the station. As for losing an entrance, AT have said the gateline will be moved from the platform level up to the CPO so this might suggest the entrance out the back of the CPO could close.

Aotea will have a lot of escalators including about four sets to/from the platform. It’s also good to see them stating that the station is future proofed for a future North Shore line – which would be under Wellesley St. The only concern is that the platform is quite narrow at only 9.6m for what will be the busiest station on the network but I guess the various escalators will help somewhat in moving people.

Aotea Station Design Exploded View

The Karangahape Rd station platforms are a little narrower but the station isn’t expected to be quite as busy. In the post yesterday I highlighted how they expect up to 34,000 during the AM peak. The report suggests about 20% of that will go to K Rd while Aotea and Britomart get around 40% each. As a rough guess that seems about the same width as some of stations in other parts of the network. It’s worth pointing out that side platform aren’t really on the outside like other stations but more like two halves to an island platform with cross passages  directly between them.

Of course it’s a shame that they’re not building the Beresford St entrance as that would make the station more useful.

Karangahape Station Platform View
Karangahape Station Platform

If you’re interested in how the stations will be built, the info below gives some idea.

Aotea Station

Construction for Aotea Station will be staged so that only one of Victoria Street, Wellesley Street and Custom Street West is closed at any one time. As Aotea Station is on the critical path, early enabling works to divert the stormwater culvert in Albert Street are planned to reduce the overall construction programme.

Components of the Station construction include:

  • southern construction yard and shaft
  • Wellesley Street West intersection structural works covering relocation of the street furniture and utilities, constructing the roof slab and reinstating the Albert Street/Wellesley Street intersection for public use, constructing the station box to platform level, the structures for the station entrance, ventilation, and mechanical and electrical equipment. The base slab at platform level will be designed to span the tunnel works for the future North Shore Line. This section of the station is on the critical path as it must be completed to receive the TBM from the first tunnel bore.
  • Victoria Street intersection structural works covering the street furniture, utilities relocation, constructing the roof slab and reinstating the Albert Street/Victoria Street intersection for public use, construction of the station box to platform level from the adjacent section and the structures for thestation escape passage and entrance
  • Durham Street intersection structural works including carefully removing the heritage bluestone wall (for reinstatement on completion), construction of the roof slab and reinstatement of the Albert Street/ Durham Street intersection for public use, and construction of the station box to platform level. This section of Aotea Station is on the critical path, as it must be completed before the rail track installation works can proceed to Britomart Station.

After completion of the tunnelling and structural works, the station will be accessible for fit-out.

Karangahape Station

The construction sequence for Karangahape station needs site preparation, service protection/diversion, and demolition of existing buildings followed by construction of the main entrance shafts, excavation of the sloped entrance escalator shafts, and construction of the permanent works after the mined tunnels have been completed. The Mercury Lane shaft must be completed before the down main TBM reaches this location. After completion of the tunnelling and structural works, the stations will be accessible for fit-out.

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  1. Will Mt Eden really only have the Shaddock St entrance? Interesting to cut off all the access from Mt Eden Rd and Fenton St – where all access is from today.

        1. I REALLY hope someone has been thinking about the CPO entrance dynamics. Something like 80% of foot traffic goes through that one door in the corner, squeezing between the convenience shop and a pillar, with almost nobody seeming to consider any kind of “keep left” principle. The commuting experience could be drastically improved by applying a bit of old fashioned traffic calming and sheep herding to that corner.

          1. It was confirmed by AT staff at the QE2 square CRL info days earlier this year that the entrance under that area would not be reopened as Precinct had no interest in an entrance coming up near to their entrance or within their shopping centre itself. apparently the same is true for the owners of the new building on the Elliott & Victoria space vis a vis an Aotea Station entrance. Negaotiations were still taking place with SkyCity. Don’t know if anything came of them. Bizarre as if this was in Japan and many other places the owners of these buildings would be rushing to make sure there were entrances connected to their properties.

      1. It’s hard to see how there can be any efficient gating of this arrangement with so many entrance points. It looks like there would need to be as many as six separate gate lines. The renewed dedication to gating that has been hinted at lately might suggest a rationalisation of the Mt Eden layout in that regard.

  2. It’d be nice if the eastern entrance, the Takutai Square entrance, could have public toilets. I always go in there and leave there – sometimes having left the office in a bit of a hurry 🙂

  3. “The Karangahape Rd station platforms are a little narrower but the station isn’t expected to be quite as busy.”
    It will once Gt Nth Rd is lined with apartment buildings.

  4. Typical of descriptions written by technical people this exhibits a failure to understand things from a user perspective. For example in the table above K Rd is described as having ‘side platforms’ rather than an ‘island’ platform, which suggests using this station to transfer will be arduous, requiring getting up and over the track to get to the other platform. This is misleading. The two platforms are in fact between the tracks connected by short direct passages, in practice they form a slightly separated island platform, this means it will be very easy to switch between the two, and therefore close to ideal for transferring.

    This kind of design will be very familiar to anyone who has used London’s tube system. K Rd will be actually the only underground station on the network, Britomart and Aotea are really just subsurface, inhabiting covered trenches, and Mt Eden’s platforms are open to the air, one in a trench, and the other above.

  5. If K’Road isn’t expected to be quite as busy, probably because of its location, are we only getting one decent new station, Aotea, out of this $2.5 bn spend?

    1. Only 7000 people in the morning peak?? That’s more than Nelson street. More than the northern busway. All at one station.

        1. Says it right in the post up top 20% of 34,000. More importantly, we get a vastly improved Britomart and Mt Eden out of this, and improvements to all stations through frequency and proximity improvements, especially on the Western line.

          1. Yep, I did the calculation too but I’d like more than two vastly improved stations and increased frequency time for $2.5 billion.

          2. Well there you have it. Really high value long lasting city infrastructure is expensive, once, then it lasts for hundreds of years, certainly rail tunnels do. Or we could go back to building only for the next few years, or decades at best. Build a lower quality less completive and less durable city… Personally I have more faith in Auckland, and like the Victorians believe in leaving the place better than we found it. Intergenerational responsibility.

    2. Jeff T ~ I believe the station will get a lot more users than the 7,000 expected once all the new apartments start getting built around K Rd and Great North Road in the next 10 years. This is why I think it’s short sighted to only build one entrance to the K’Rd station (in Mercury Lane) and leave the other one (Beresford St) to be built in the future.
      They should at least build the cavity down to the platform from Beresford St now (and cover it over, presumably) and build the entrance proper (lifts and stairwells etc) later. This city/country is choked by roadworks, much of ‘adding on’ to something that should been built properly the first time.
      I think history will show that axing the proposed Newton station was very short sighted. That’s another area with great potential for apartments, but ‘they’ have decided that catchment can walk to either K Rd or Mt Eden stations.

      1. Thank you Nick. That’s my belief. Long lasting city infrastructure is expensive but we shouldn’t scrimp. I would’ve liked to have seen Newton as well but at least put Beresford in to increase the popularity of K’Rd. It would then seem to me that we would be getting a couple of new stations, but then, unlike others I’m not an expert so what would I know (other than as a user of the system).

      2. The description says the shaft will be built, also that mechanical ventilation is being shifted to Beresford.
        I’d like to see a short pedestrian tunnel connecting to Myers Park. The enterance would be a similar elevation to the concourse. This would provide convenient access to the surrounding apartments and the top block of Queen St

      3. I don’t think we’ll miss the Newton station by the time the CRL has been running for a decade or so and we get to the point where we need to start activating the various options to take the capacity up a notch or two. Leaving Newton station and the flat junctions that it imposed would have placed a much lower cap on ultimate capacity through the CRL, not to mention greater operational risk (Murphy’s Law), with much worse outcomes when things do go wrong. Ditching Newton was the price of a much better long term outcome, and it appears now, to be largely mitigated by the prospect of two LRT lines just a stone’s throw away.

      4. Nick when I complained to the AT staff at the info day earlier this year they said the Beresford Square entrance area will be mined out, and stairwells etc also built so that it will be an easy to get that entrance completed and opened in the future. I said in that case why don’t they just do the thing and open it too!

      5. By removing Newton it allowed for a grade separated junction which will allow more trains to move more reliably than it would have otherwise. For development two of the biggest opportunities are the area around Mt Eden station where everything is being dug up and that corner north and west of Upper Queen St. From those areas it would be easier to walk to K Rd station than it to the proposed Newton Rd entrance up by the corner of Symonds St/New North Rd and Mt Eden Rd.

      1. I’m all for art in public spaces, and this is no exception. The benefits are really good – even if you consider off the wall ideas like playing classical music to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour at Brixton station (London) for example as being a benefit of art (music) within a public space. Also noticed this at Henderson station a while back. However…if AT could generate income from advertising space within these stations, could it then help to pay for operating costs/subsisdising fares/maintenance etc? Not trying to be all dour about it, but it would certainly help convince sceptics that all possible benefits are being realised from the development and convince users that all is being done to keep fares down for the average user?

        1. Yes advertising is pretty standard in most urban rail networks around the world. Typically they have large billboards on the wall opposite the platforms – when the train is in they are blocked but for the rest of the time they give people waiting something to look at (and generate revenue).

      2. The Auckland Art Gallery gets around 600k visits a year; the CRL will blow that out of the water: It will be our most visited art gallery by a long margin. It matters enormously how well we do this. And the rewards can be tangible; especially in terms of international reputation and attention.

        The better we do new urban transport infrastructure the less ATEED or Tourism NZ will need to buy advertising offshore. This is already working hugely with the PinkPath, SkyPath will go even way further than that, and the CRL, done and finished as well as it can be, will further brand AKL as the great world leading little city it should be.

        There’s a lot at stake.

        Idiots and philistines have to be dealt with, budget and talent identified and unleash…. exciting time.

        Value management, or whatever buzzwords they use for cost-cutting this year has to be kept in its place. Getting miserablists to comprehend value as well as cost is a constant battle.

        1. Appreciate that, and while you probably don’t have any figures to hand – could you estimate those potential benefits in a dollar figure vs. what might be gained by straight advertising revenue? Even a ratio would do it? Like I said, all in favour, but if it could be proven with hard numbers then that will help to convince the “idiots and miserablists”

          1. This is an issue; there is no way of monetising everything; why else do you suppose they call economics ‘the dismal profession’? But then of course if something is hard to count, then its hard to get it to be counted….

            Cost is easy to count; value much harder.

      3. Just been through Düsseldorf, briefly, and the new stations are pretty darn great. Beautifully integrated art pieces in the way the finishes are conceived and detailed….

        1. The Germans often do a pretty good job of station design. Munich has some great modern ones, even just a google search will reveal some amazing ones. Some great uses of colour

  6. Slightly of topic, but how much thought/planning has the CRL had with a future rail link to North Shore? I don’t know of much planning for the Gaunt Street – rest of the rail network connection (considering construction of the next harbour tunnel is meant to start in 7 years or so this is urgent). Can the Britomart station existing platfroms have the tracks continue to a future North Shore line (I know the CRL platforms are to the outside of the exisiting ones)? Also could the Aotea station become a cross pattern without too much difficulty should the Gaunt Street station – rest of network connection go via Aotea and maybe a future university station?

    1. A North Shore Line is planned to meet the CRL under the Wellesley St end of the Aotea Station. This is being ‘future proofed’ for.

      This also suggests that a Wynyard Station should face north-south, not east-west under Gaunt.

      1. Which will be fine apart from ‘future proofing for rail’ being a magnet for NZTA to leap into action and build something in the way. ACMJ anyone?

      2. Crazy to bother ‘future proofing’ for a shore line if it adds cost. Light rail will always win on business case due to much lower costs with a similar level of service. There will never be heavy rail to the shore.

        1. Crazy to cut off future options is more to the point; haven’t we learnt anything from Pakuranga, Airport RTN. Manukau City Station, etc, etc,

          Even if the next crossing is LRT, and it probably should be, it is still likely that later that will need getting it in a tunnel from Wynyard as demand grows.

          No more short-termism please: Just cos we have a short past we shouldn’t act like we have no future!

          1. Yes, absolutely. My thinking for connecting the North Shore line to the rest of the network is to have the first station under Victoria Park, then proceed via a cut and cover tunnel under Wellesley Street West to new East-West Aotea station platforms just to the west of the CRL Aotea station pltforms (i.e. under Wellesley Street between Hobson and Albert Streets), before contuing east to a university station under Alfred Street, before joining the Britomart-Newmarket line just north of Parnell sttaion, before continuing on the Newmarket – Parnell section widened to 4 tracks. Problem with the latter is that Parnell station would need to be rebuilt along with the new Sarawira street crossing which aren’t designed for additional track widening here

          2. Why would you need four tracks? Better to just no longer run trains between Britomart and Parnell; its a horribly slow dance anyway, and that then removes the junction at the Britomart portal. So overstrain to and from Parnell goes to Uni and Aotea…

        2. My understanding is that the northern busway is designed to take light rail but is not designed for heavy rail. So the shore is really only going to get light rail.

          1. Dont forget about light metro. Its possible we throw that under the harbour instead of LRT.

      3. Thanks. Does this mean trains from say Newmarket to North Shore should go up the CRL via Karangahake station to Aotea, and then make a left turn onto the North Shore line? or will there be a new east-west station under Wellesley street for North Shore trains (presumably getting to Aotea from Newmarket via a new tunnel via a possible university station)? I also don’t know why the Wynard station is facing east-west instead of North-south under Victoria Park (in my view a better option, and also not too far from Ponsonby. Also allows for the sttaion to be dug out from Victoria Park). In any case much more planning is needed, or if done be discussed on this blog

        1. No, the two lines will meet by transfer. Not interoperable.

          Longer term there is The Cross idea however: http://greaterakl.wpengine.com/?s=The+cross&submit.x=12&submit.y=11&submit=Search

          A CRL 2: Parnell-Uni-Aotea-Wynyard.

          Though this requires the Shore line be built to geometries suitable for the current rail system, and that second CRL would not be cheap, nor fast [wiggly].

          The other option is a say Light metro that either terminates at Aotea, or goes on to under the Uni, and then could continue to the Hospital and perhaps Grafton to meet, by transfer our existing system……?

          1. Yes, my thoughts exactly, outlined in the my comment above. Although my proposed route would be very strait from when it touches wellesley street to just before it joins the Britomart – Newmarket line. The cross pattern fits my thoughts exactly. Thinking about running patterns the Eastern and Southern lines can run on their exisiting plans post CRL. Half the western line trains can terminate at britomart and the other half at Panmure (i.e going from Sawnson – Panmure via the CRL). And the North Shore trains can terminate at Newmarket with a few more continuing on to Onehunga or maybe the Airport (thus the Onehunga line will connect to the North Shore line instead of the Western line). Only downside is no trains going between Parnell and Britomart, but will remove the need for extra tracks between Parnell and Newmarket. Your thoughts?

          2. West-East: Swanson-MC via Panmure CRL I
            North-South: Albany-Pukekohe via Parnell/Aotea/Wynyard CRL II

            Mega frequency
            Mega legibility

            plus minor services -> perhaps a West-South via Grafton [Hendo-Otahuhu?] and say an Onehunga-Britomart via Parnell [terminating at the extra platforms there]?
            or just an Onehunga-Hendo via Grafton?

            Neither of the latter suggestions are wholly great IMV…

            Heaven forfend: perhaps an Onehunga-Grafton-Parnell-Otahuhu oddball!? Loopy! Or even [sacrilege] a one way Onehunga-Grafton-Parnell-Onehunga…..

  7. I’d rather have less fancy stuff and a quicker completion personally.

    Who wouldn’t train a couple extra tph for a bare concrete station?

    1. Pleasant station = more commuters = more regular trains.
      Ugly concrete = more tagging/litter, less perceived safety.

      Plenty of cities with mature underground networks (munich, singapore, london) have large underground plazas and corridors in their stations,often with dozens of shops and services below street level. Art exhibition spaces, places for buskers (the next Ed Sheeran), kiosks and Subway Sandwiches, ATMs and vending machines, micro-shops/box-shops, etc are all great amenities. If land around stations is expensive, developing underground is useful and viable – it also adds a lot of life to the otherwise bunker-like platforms. I’m not saying we build all that now, but definitely provide for it – expanding the underground network will be required in our lifetimes. We could have 3 or 4 CRL lines by then.

  8. No mention of platform screen doors yet?

    Still think I would run my NS LRT Line through the SH16 eventually to connect to a NW LRT this wouldn’t be till 2030 though for now would terminate at Aotea.

  9. Also, could we get maybe the Norwegians in to build this. Seeing what they’ve done putting tunnels through mountains I figure they could have this built for us in about a year.

    1. +1

      It is truly amazing how the Norwegians manage to justify multi-kilometre-long tunnels (usually road), often to connect tiny, out-of-the-way places.

      Same with the Danes. kilometres of tunnels in the remote Faeroe Islands, some between islands, connecting little villages.

      1. Theyre pretty cool, that 24km one where there’s the light shows every few kms is amazing, even I was pretty glad to get out of it by the end. But they afford them by using oil revenue, and tolls. Lots and lots of tolls.

        1. ‘The Norweigians pump money out of the ground’ and most importantly don’t waste it by burning it themselves, so they retain as much as possible to sell to other oil addicts. Very smart, them scandi-wegians.

          Oh course we are also very rich in electrons, if not hydrocarbons, and should have a policy of aggressive electrification of the transport sector, not this piss-weak effort the current government is promoting….

          A proper price on carbon, or a carbon tax would be a great first step.

          1. If we get a Lab/Green govt in 2017, perhaps they will be there in the nick of time to overrule the morons in Greater Wellington Regional Council who plan to get rid of the 100% electric trolleybuses.

  10. “reinstatement of the Albert Street/ Durham Street intersection for public use”

    Durham st west at the moment is dark and disconnected.

    So while they are going to do some work on the Albert st intersection, they should take this opportunity to redesign that connection and improve the attractiveness and safety.

    Vision would be a shared-street similar to Elliot/fort street, with inviting connection to Albert st, Victoria Street, and Wyndham street.

  11. Have I got this right? The narrowest, busiest station won’t have platform screens?? What sort of insane fuckery is that?????

    1. Exactly Sanctuary. Someone falls (or selfishly commits suicide by train) in the CRL and that would pretty much stuff the entire Auckland rail network for at least 2 hours. On a busy station like this that platform really should be wider too. Otherwise it will end up like Sydney’s Town Hall Station which is pretty horrible.

      1. It’s designed for platform doors, I imagine they’ll istall them pretty quickly once it’s actually open.

        Bruce, It can’t be wider because it sits just under the road and has buildings either side. If they wanted to make it wider they would have to somehow make the station directly support the skyscrapers on top of it.

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