Forbidden Kingdon: Station To Be Demolished


On Thursday night, the last train to ever use the temporary Newmarket West Kingdon St train station will arrive there on its way out west.

The demolition of the temporary station will be one of the first jobs post-Christmas as part of the three weeks of extensive rail work.

Those who wanted to keep the station operating in some form for western train commuters appear to have been unsuccessful.

LAST TRAIN: Newmarket West

With Newmarket’s new station opening on January 18 and the Boston Rd replacement, a new station at Grafton, opening around April, commuters that presently use Newmarket West will have to use those nearby alternatives. A wider inconvenience is that west line users are back to a situation by which the train has to reverse at the new station.

For a while, when this happened prior to the Kingdon station, some journeys had drivers in both cabs but this is an expensive option.

In the end, keeping the temporary station was hard to argue for the cost involved as the temporary station would need platform upgrades to accommodate electric trains and potentially some other nearby bridge repairs. Having two Newmarket stops for western line travellers was also potentially confusing.

You can imagine the number of times you would hear someone scream that they had not realised they had got on a train stopping where they didn’t want to stop or they were on an express train but didn’t realise. Having two stops close together was also argued by some as not making for a fast rail journey.

WESTBOUND: There will only be the new Newmarket station

As detailed here a month back, the argument about whether to keep Kingdon as an additional or alternative stop led to a lively internal debate within ARTA and the ARC as ARC chairman Mike Lee has publicly pressed for Kingdon to be retained. There was also a proposal to at least keep it until electric trains arrived after the RWC.

In the end, it seems the fate of Kingdon has been sealed.




  1. Cambennett says:

    Probably for the best, as you point out having two stations so close could be confusing.

  2. Matt says:

    I use the western line almost daily so it will be interesting to see how much extra time it adds to the journey. I imagine the worst part might be having to wait for the driver to swap ends, especially once longer sets are introduced.

    The other question is whether they will reopen Kingdon St to traffic or leave it closed once the station is gone

  3. Luke says:

    Maybe in peak times it would be good to have two drivers, esp with 6car sets, although would never be able to justify it off-peak.
    Probably best to wait and see how long the changing ends take.

  4. James says:

    we know how long changing ends takes they used to do it all the time at old newmarket. 2-3min at least. I remember seeing the driver walking past carrying his bag or sometimes through the train if it was wet.

  5. James Pole says:

    The TOC can always try the two drivers approach during peak times — that approach is also used on the London Underground to reduce turnaround time. This can be done by using shuttle drivers just doing the Newmarket-Britomart section.

    The shuttle drivers would just:-
    1. Drive train from Britomart to Newmarket.
    2. Get off train and wait for next Britomart-bound train.
    3. Get on that train and drive it to Britomart.
    4. Get off train and wait for next Newmarket-bound train.
    5. Go to Step 1.

    During the peak I don’t think this would incur much extra cost as they could shuffle the schedules around so they make the most out of the Swanson-Newmarket and Newmarket-Britomart set of drivers.

    And remember that there is a direct connection to the Western Line from the new station — hence only one reversal is required. So it will be quicker than the old layout where two reversals were needed — one from the platform to the siding and another from the siding to the Western Line itself. So I think the times for reversals will be more like 1-2mins at most vs 2-3mins for the old layout.

    This is all just ideas from a passenger perspective though. :)

  6. Jon C says:

    That sounds as if we could live with that James. Thanks for the info.

  7. Gerard says:

    Was amazed to read this on xmas day on, does the ARC not read this site.
    Kiwirail accused of acting in bad faith

    25/12/2009 4:44:02

    The chairman of the Auckland Regional Council is accusing Kiwirail of acting in bad faith, over its plans to demolish the Newmarket West rail station.

    A contractor tipped off the Council over plans get rid of the station over the Christmas period. Mike Lee says Kiwirail seems to want to funnel everyone through a new station being built at Newmarket, whether it is convenient for the public or not.

    He says the fact the demolition is taking place at Christmas, and against the wishes of locals, shows particular bad faith.

    Mr Lee says retaining the Newmarket West station is very important to the viability of long haul express rail services from Waimauku and Huapai, and adds extra flexibility and resilience to the Auckland rail system.

    He wants Kiwirail to at least wait until the Newmarket main station opens and is proven, before it gets rid of the Kingdon Street stop.


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