No Upgrade For Waitakere Train Station Itself


The Waitakere railway station seems set to be the most neglected of Auckland’s train stations.

Recent statistics on the Western line usage – which I posted here – showed that Waitakere had the smallest increase in patronage of any on the Western Line.

At this week’s Waitakere Community Board  meeting, chairman, KJP Witten-Hannah, said he was pleased that the Waitakere council will be upgrading the car park and station access.

“It is just a shame that a station upgrade is not on the horizon. The tunnel means that double tracking is unlikely from Swanson to Waitakere.

Swanson's overbridge

“I am sure that for that reason, as well as the condition of the station, many patrons choose to drive to Swanson rather than catch the train at Waitakere. Swanson Station is in great shape.”

Also: Swanson station overbridge opened - Photos

Waitakere line station improvements detailed

Snapshot of Western line -which stations are popular




  1. Matt L says:

    I think once electrification comes along we should cut Waitakere from the network. It seems odd to keep running diesel trains just because of one station that only has a couple of hundred passengers a day use it. We would be better off putting a bus on between Waitakere and Swanson and it would probably also save some money.

  2. Suzie says:

    The diesels might go out to Huapai again if not all the way to Helensville.
    Never suggest cutting stations or services because so hard to get them reinstated.

  3. Nick R says:

    It sounds like Waitakere to Huapai will be serviced by a ‘regional’ diesel train, while Swanson will be the terminus for electrified ‘suburban’ trains.

  4. Bevan says:

    I think terminating the electrified service at Swanson and then having a diesel train shuttling service from Helensville back and forth to Swanson would work well. Passengers would just transfer from one service to another to go on from Swanson.
    That way the services to and from Helensville would also be more frequent than the failed trial as the train could just shuttle back and forth and be more likely to attract a higher patronage with the better frequency.

  5. Kurt says:

    The fact that Waitakere is left out of the electrification is ridiculous.

    That means approximately half the trains week day will not be electric meaning many diesel powered trains and their questionable reliability will need to be retained.

  6. Nick R says:

    I think it is quite sensible actually, not spending several millions of dollars of scarces capital funds to give one small village an rapid transit link with ten minute headways.

    It won’t be half, you’ll get two diesels an hour from Waimakau or Huapai and six electrics from Swanson according to the business case. Naturally it will be the more reliable diesels that are retained.

  7. Matt L says:

    While I don’t want to see services cut you have to look at the whole picture. The reason Waitakere isn’t being double tracked or Electrified is the cost. It would cost millions just to enlarge the current tunnel to cope with the overhead wires let alone double track it and all for 100 or so people.

    A diesel shuttle from Swanson to Waitakere/Huapai would be fine but if they are to run the whole way to town they will just end up slowing down the electric trains.

  8. Ian says:

    A diesel service to Huapai might be worth considering but I think a DMU, not a push pull would be a better look for such a service.

  9. Marwan says:

    I agree, I think we should cut Waitakere from the newtwork, and have it as regional, like pukehoke, like Helensville. Swanson is the end of the metro limits anyway.

  10. curtissd says:

    But it should be a future plan to have it electricfied / double tracked.

  11. Geoff says:

    “That means approximately half the trains week day will not be electric meaning many diesel powered trains and their questionable reliability will need to be retained.”

    The plan is for a diesel shuttle between Huapai and Swanson only. It will be all electric east of Swanson.

    “I agree, I think we should cut Waitakere from the newtwork”

    Since a Huapai-Swanson shuttle is planned, it makes sense to keep Waitakere open. The station is in fact being upgraded, with a new sealed car park, pathways and curbing, plus some landscaping.

    I understand a Huapai train service may be closer than we think as well - possibly from June 2010.

  12. Kalelovil says:

    According to Statistics NZ 2006 figures the area population of Swanson is 2600, Waitakere is 1980, Taupaki is 860 and Kumeu is 6830.

    Is the tunnel high enough for 2.9m containers or would it have to be enlarged if the North Auckland Line is upgraded to fit them? If it needs to be enlarged anyway the marginal cost of electrification or enabling future electrification shouldn’t be high. The tunnel is also the shortest in the Auckland network at 250m (despite ARTA documentation claiming it is 450m).

    Double tracking the tunnel would indeed be very expensive but shouldn’t be neccessary. The trains only take 5 minutes between the two stations and there are 3 tracks at Waitakere station which would allow passing trains. Wellington’s Johnsonville line shows what can still be accomplished with only a single track.

    The sealed carpark is good news and should attract extra patronage. The carpark is commonly full at the moment despite its dreadful condition. Waitakere station has the potential for considerable park-and-ride patronage from semirural areas of the suburb surrounds as well as Tehenga to its west and Taupaki to its north.

  13. Geoff says:

    The tunnel is not quite large enough for high cubes, although they have been through, scraping the edges as they go. To officially allow them would probably require a minor track lowering, perhaps 200mm.

  14. Kalelovil says:

    If a proper station upgrade for Waitakere is not going to be funded, they should at least transfer one of the spare shelters from the temporary New Lynn station to there.

  15. Gary Fawcett says:

    I wonder if patronage of the train from Waitakere would be better if Auckland Transport didn’t keep cancelling them.

    You can’t rely on the service at all, quite often it’s cancelled from Swanson to Waitakere for so called operational reasons.

    Is this all part of the plan to deter people living near Waitakere to take the train to town?


  16. Geoff says:

    Completely agree Gary, the operator (Veolia Transdev) regard Swanson-Waitakere as expendable, and cancel services with no notice to anyone on a near daily basis, and of course you have a long wait for the next train.


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