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New Parnell Station’s Look - Auckland - AKT

New Parnell Station’s Look


Works are about to get underway near the Mainline Steam depot at the foot of the Domain to lower the tracks between Parnell and Newmarket for the proposed new Parnell train stop.

If all goes well, the station at the foothills of the Domain alongside Mainline Steam’s depot would be open about September next year. It will incorporate the old Newmarket train station building.

At last estimate made public , the full station and necessary track work will cost $14m.The old Newmarket station building will be relocated to the site to add to its heritage theme at a  cost of $1.10m.

Auckland Transport has released new designs.

Aerial views:

Earlier drawings have shown this:

Auckland Transport planners have been predicting that the station will end up being among the 5th most used stations on the Auckland rail network.

The old Newmarket building, which was removed for the construction of the present revamped station, is in storage in Henderson.It is in two sections and will need to be re-joined after the move to its new home Parnell. Mainline Steam is keen to use some of the building for its offices.

This is how Newmarket looked until a couple of years ago.

One of the arguments that has been going on since the plan emerged in the ARC days has been whether it is just for people to visit the Museum and Parnell or can also serve as a stop for some university students.

It’s pleasing to see the latest concepts accept the need for the station to connect with the university.

The project has been called complex and challenging because of the:

Station configuration

  • The impact on the Domain
  • A lengthy planning and consultation process involving the Council, iwi, residents and businesses
  • Maintaining long-term track access for Mainline Steam
  • The challenge of achieving progress in that Christmas block when trains are not running
  • Getting it all done ahead of electrification
  • Maintaining and enhancing the frequency and reliability of the services involved




  1. Jarrod says:

    Look forward to it being built. Will definately be well used I recon.

  2. Ben says:

    I see no bypass 3rd track running down the middle nor suitable cross over tracks at each end of the station.

    This station will be a hindrance without those modifications regardless of the EMU’s being here or not as this section is the busiest section of track outside Otahuhu and Britomart themselves.

    And good luck having either every service on the line stop at that station, or having a DFT-6-car set or ADK DMU trying to take off from that station fully loaded - it will not be pretty! :|

  3. BD says:

    That’s because in NZ we have short sighted planners when it comes to PT planning. They don’t future proof anything, bit like when they built Britomart, they only had 2 tracks feeding into the station when they should have had 4. The way they built Parnell Station will make it very hard to build a 3rd track and in my opinion very short-sighted thinking.

  4. Nick R says:

    Ben, the costings for a third track via Parnell have been done and the results are eyewatering, particularly getting a third track into Britomart… and it would be largely unnecessary if a CBD tunnel is built. A third (and hopefully fourth) track are on the long term radar for the eastern line to carry freight and perhaps expresses.

    BD, the fact the two track Britomart tunnel exists at all is a testament to far sighted planners. Do you realise the old council actually went ahead and built that approach tunnel before they even had firm plans or funding for a station? They saw the land was about to be developed out and got in first, ensuring that the latter station could proceed and Auckland’s public transport renaissance would take off. Not the most perfect outcome today, but it was definitely not short sighted.

  5. Ben says:

    I think I was being a bit vague with the 3rd track option. By the third bypass track I meant it would be just a short one starting and finishing around 50m either side of the station ends using cross overs rather than running a third track from NKT through to the BRT station itself which I know would be hell-ishly expensive.

    If the third bypass track as I suggested is not an option then please put cross-overs at each end of the station so trains can round around the parked train if required - we have bi-directional running - it just is not able to be well utilised due to lack of cross overs.

    Still can see Parnell giving us grief…

    Err I stand corrected partially

    There is a cross over point at the north end of the proposed station - just need one at the south (tunnel end) - just so we can at least built in some flexibility when required into the network

  6. San Luca says:

    I agree on the third track, seems like a no brainer and if we don’t do could lead to problems further down the track

  7. Harry says:

    A walkway through to Stanley St. would be excellent.

  8. Finn says:

    The trains are going to have a problem departing the station going up the grade!

  9. Ian says:

    An EMU should have no problems starting away on this grade. Take a look at Wellington where sets are routinely started on steeper grades than this along with tight curves thrown into the equation. Catch the train to J’ville and see seventy year old technology handle these sorts of grades with contemptuous ease.

  10. Simon C says:

    @BD The problem with Britomart is more about the short-sightedness of Aucklanders in general than the architects. You may have forgotten but I haven`t that to get Britomart built even on a much reduced budget and plan a mayor of Auckland sacrificed her place in office such was the vitriol against it. As much as we might like to criticise national and/or local politicians, architects etc etc sometimes the blame is squarely on the lack of vision of the common citizens of the city.

    Maybe if there was better vision from the average joe then there would be more encouragement to build infrastructure properly in this city.

  11. Roger says:

    Legend 7, Station Plaza, is this area where most of Mainline Steam’s access tracks are? I think this is rather a grand title for an area that can’t have any retail, buskers or other activities one finds in a plaza.

    While I support a station here I think the designers have got a bit carried suggesting this area will be a place to enjoy a coffee.

  12. Roger says:

    While I’m in a complaining mood, why can’t designers create plan views with north up? I get frustrated having to spin the view around in my head before it makes sense!

    One more glass of wine now should calm me down.

  13. Bryce says:

    @Simon C
    The mayor you refer to made a campain against Les Mills on based on anti-Britomart sentiment.

  14. DanC says:

    Auckland needs to sort out it’s PT and the more trains (welcome electrification) going to more stations (welcome Manukau and Parnell) gets more cars off the road. Auckland is so congested which results in down time and higher fuel import costs leading to more pollution. My up and coming vote is swung by the PT policies.

    Please please please CBD loop followed by airport rail, then which, what I think is the rail holy grail is rail from Albany to Manukau via Botany.

  15. ingolfson says:

    “I think this is rather a grand title for an area that can’t have any retail, buskers or other activities one finds in a plaza.”

    Why not? It’s not like this is a train moving ground 24/7. Use could easily be coordinated - it isn’t rocket science, just some slow moving trains MAYBE a few times daily, but likely not even that often.

  16. Nick R says:

    @Bryce, Fletcher’s campaign was against Les Mills proposal that included a huge underground car park, a smaller train station than we have today and a slew of office towers. It was basically a massive risky commercial development with a fairly token railway station thrown in.
    She campaigned to ‘rethink Britomart’ into a smaller demolition job, restoring the historic buildings and having more focus on a larger train station.

  17. san luca says:

    As mentioned before, hopefully they make a raised walkway (bridge) to the university. Let’s not forget people virtually have to cross a motorway to get to the university at present

  18. Patrick R says:

    Nick is right, The Mills plan was a nightmare, we have a lot to thank Christine Fletcher for in the AK commuter rail revival….

  19. Carl says:

    can we see a price breakdown on the $14 mill? or is this just another made up price that will ballon out to $20 mill by the time its started, delayed, changed, protested, restarted, delayed, finished, re done, finished…

  20. Ben says:

    @Carl - hang on I’ll make some enquiries (or Jon could ;) )

    Hmmm I still have the full break down of costings for the City Rail Link floating around somewhere too

  21. Carl says:

    I’m actually serious, because the costings of things here in this country actually amaze me.

    Our money isn’t that bad, its probably stronger than it ever was (or pretty dam close to it).

    and last time I looked we haven’t moved any further away from China or Aussie…

    I dunno, I’m happy to be wrong, but it just seems all these prices of stations at $10 mill + are just crazy…


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