Users of Newmarket train station on Friday night would have seen some new additions to the station. On the concourse above the platforms the first fare gates have started to be installed ready to be used when the real HOP system finally goes live. Thanks to reader Alan Wilkins who sent me these photos (I had been planning a trip to get some but this saved me from having to do so). We can see four gates, the middle two appear to be bi directional with a HOP reader on each end while the outside two are unidirectional and I assume that which ones sides are in operation will change depending on peak flows.
Fare gates will be installed at both Newmarket and Britomart and the thinking is that as most trips pass through one of these stations on their journey then the majority of people will be forced to tag on/off at some point. Over time though I suspect we will see a lot more trips beginning and ending on other parts of the rail network so hope that we can eventually roll them out to a few other key stations too. I believe that New Lynn, Manukau and the new Panmure station have all been designed to allow them to be installed in the future.
Edit: After reading some of the comments I am now convinced that there are only three gates here which means that there will either be a barrier installed out to the wall by station square or there will be a manual gate. Due to the layout of Newmarket station there will be other gates but these are just the first ones installed.