Next Train Timetable Changes


Auckland Transport has confirmed details of the new rail timetable to be introduced next March – and say it will be the last timetable change until the new electric trains arrice.

Due to constraints on train movements at Britomart it is not possible to make adjustments to the timetable on one route without affecting the arrivals and departures of trains on all other lines.

Therefore, rather than a piecemeal approach that would require frequent service changes, AT has grabbed the opportunity to develop a timetable that includes many of the planned service improvements that were assumed to be in place ahead of the introduction of electric trains.

Key service improvements include:

  • Introduction of train services to Manukau. Initial service offering will be 3 trains an hour during the peak and two trains an hour at all other times.
  • Introduction of 6 trains an hour from Henderson during the peak Monday to Friday on the Western Line. AT notes that the infrastructure works to allow this level of service were completed in August 2010 and patronage has now grown to a level that warrants this service capacity.
  • Western Line services will operate  a half-hourly service between Swanson and Britomart during the core of the day on both Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Onehunga Line services will be increased to half-hourly throughout the day and at a weekend, to accommodate further growth.
  • Increased frequency of services from Pukekohe to every 60 minutes during the day midweekin response to customer demand. While the final SA carriages were introduced in July 2011, the proposed timetable will ensure that available rolling stock  resources  are directed to where demand and growth has been the strongest and increases in frequency  will accommodate expected demand and passenger numbers through 2012.

At says these timetable changes will be the last major revision to schedules until the introduction of EMUs during the 2013-14 year, and represent the mature diesel peak timetable which can be delivered with existing rolling stock.

AT says the new electric train is on schedule with the first 3 car unit scheduled for arrival fourth quarter 2013.

It’s still vague exactly when the first electric trains will be running –AT says early to mid-2014 saying 8 to 10 EMUs will be needed to be up and running to provide a workable service.

The new Manukau underground station ready for passengers

In other trials and developments:

  • Work is also progressing with Howick & Eastern Buses to implement bus service changes in March  to integrate local bus services with the new train service at Manukau.

Two bus routes from east of the Southern Motorway, 466 from The Gardens and Everglade Drive and 580 from Howick and Botany will be extended to the new Manukau station and will have their peak frequency increased from 30 minutes to 20 minutes to match the train timetable.

Other Manukau bus services will be extended to the new Manukau Interchange when it is opened as part of the MIT campus development – currently scheduled for March – April 2013.

  • An Environment Court consent has now been granted for stage 1 of the Hibiscus Coast Busway (park and ride at Silverdale).  The appeal period closes on December 13. If no appeals are received construction will commence in the New Year.
  • And any day now, existing passenger information display screens on the Onehunga rail line (Onehunga station, Te Papapa station and platform 3 at Penrose station) will start to display real-time passenger information for rail services. This is the first public trial of the new real-time system for rail.  Subject to the success of the trial, early next year will see more train stations with the real-time service information, as part of the overall enhancement of real-time passenger information across bus, train and ferry.
  • A trial of an improved weekend ferry service offering between Downtown and Bayswater, Birkenhead, Northcote Point and Half Moon Bay is about to commence and operate through to  February 26.    The period of the service offering may be extended subject to customer uptake.   This is in response to customer feedback and demand for improved weekend ferry service options and will provide for enhanced frequency and standard time between sailings providing customers with greater options to access the CBD at weekends.  The trial is operated by Fullers.




  1. joust says:

    pretty welcome changes all around really. Interesting to know the service planning to provide at Manukau.
    Accurate real-time screens will be great, assuming they don’t suffer the same issues as the bus ones. Most passengers will be reserving judgement after bad experiences with them.

  2. Simon C says:

    Jon, have Pukekohe weekend services also been included in the new timetable? And any news about extension of Western services to Huapai?

  3. Simon C says:

    I think the improvement in weekend and off peak services is the best part of the timetable change. I`m sure people on the Western line will be happy to have half hourly services both Sat AND Sun and extending to Swanson on Sundays too and everyone knew Onehunga should be having half hour services weekends as well. Any news on when the Onehunga Station Platform extension works are supposed to get underway?

  4. Jon C says:

    @Simon C That’s the only word for now. No news on Huapai.

  5. Simon C says:

    Ok Jon. I saw the same info on AT`s website.

  6. dj says:

    They are leveling land just south of Southwestern motorway near the old Wiri station. Maybe the start of the EMU depot.

  7. ingolfson says:

    dj - not maybe. The recent CEO’s report to the AT Board mentioned that filling of the Wiri depot site has been progressing ahead of schedule and is to finish January 2012.

  8. Carl says:

    lol at still no weekend services to Puke, I would normally say “that is so out of date” but back in the day they had weekend services! so its just a plain old FAIL.

    good news elsewhere though.

  9. Matt L says:

    I’m disappointed that the extra peak services will only go as far as Henderson and hope that doesn’t mean those further out west (and patronage is going fast at Sturges Rd) end up having big gaps between trains so that it all works nicely at the other end.

    It would also be interested to see what this does to operational costs.

  10. Bryan says:

    I would be interested to see how the western line services will be structured. Currently they alternate Waitakere and Swanson services during the peak, will it become a trio of destinations from March? How will that work - 6×10 min frequency at Henderson, 2×30 minute frequency at Waitakere, and Swanson with a potenially confusing 2x(10+20) per hour (instead of 4×15)?

  11. Giel says:

    The signs for regular Waitakere township services look ominous until any extension to Huapai is worthwhile.

  12. Karlos says:

    Does Pukekohe get more trains at peak times as well as during the day?

  13. james says:

    Hi Jon, Why do we need a train to go as far as Waitakere village. Between Waitakere and swanson it is one whole section. I prefer to drive and park in swanson. The train is alway empty between these two stops, is it economical for the train to be running past swanson?

  14. Larry says:

    How far will the electric trains be running on the western line? I heard they will only go as far as Swanson, is that true? Does that mean there will be no trains running to Waitakere Village?

  15. Matt L says:

    Larry - that’s correct, the wires will end at Swanson, the issue with extending them further was the Waitakere tunnel which was to expensive to lower to allow clearance for the wires when compared against potential patronage. There will be a DMU shuttle that runs between Swanson and Waitakere or Huapai once the EMU’s arrive.

    FYI only around 100 people catch the train from Waitakere across the entire day and that hasn’t really changed in years despite other stations seeing massive increases by comparison.

  16. Larry says:

    Thanks for that info Matt. Maybe the shuttle between Swanson and Waitakere should be scrapped. What a inconvenience having to exit the DMU shuttle at Swanson to catch the EMU or the other way around if your heading to Waitakere.

  17. Matt L says:

    Larry - I think it should be scrapped but not because of the inconvenience (which can be minimised to a large extent) but because so few people use Waitakere that it will probably be a huge waste of money to operate it.

    Also of note is that the same thing is happening out south were electric services will terminate at Papakura and if you want to get to Pukekohe you will need to catch a DMU shuttle.

  18. Giel says:

    I think it will be scrapped beyond Swanson - certainly wouldn’t be economic. Would be cheaper to contract a taxi van I suspect. Just being kept quiet for now as an end of a era and they may try to overshadow small bit of bad news with some good news later like increased frequency to Swanson. In time may restart as far as Huapai when demand there but probably a few years out. Actually the bit beyond Swanson is a major headache anyway due to special train evacuation requirements in narrow tunnel ( quite dangerous with modern wider trains) and rougher track conditions as well as single CTC track.

  19. Geoff says:

    Swanson carpark and roadside car parks are all full, which is why they built a new carpark at Waitakere, to handle continued growth in the area.

    The service won’t be scrapped. Following the carpark construction at Waitakere, the next big project is the third track at Swanson for the diesel shuttle, to be built this year. They wouldn’t be doing all this work for nothing.

    I expect the existing arrangement will continue until late 2014 or early 2015, then a Huapai shuttle will start from the same day EMU’s take over east of Swanson.

  20. Geoff says:

    And now that March has arrived, we discover that every single one of the proposed timetable improvements has been canned, except the Manukau trains, and even those have been reduced well below what was promised.

    So what changed in just three months?


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