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The Owairaka train station

A few weeks back I wrote about a potential Mt Roskill train station, which would sit at the end of the Mt Roskill spur line around where Dominion Road passes over State Highway 20. There’s also one other station that could sit on this spur line – as shown in the map below:

This, of course, is Owairaka Station (or Stoddard Rd station I guess) which would sit near the group of shops at the corner of Richardson Road and Stoddard Road.

From a transport perspective the station would be useful in intercepting many of the buses that use Sandringham Road before wiggling their way through the less helpful street network south of SH20. Essentially all buses south of SH20 could become feeder services into the railway station, while Sandringham Road buses would focus on the inner part of the route – but also linking to the station for people needing to transfer to another bus, or the train. This is much like how the Mt Roskill station could intercept the longer distance Dominion Road bus trips – both together taking buses out of the city centre and reducing pressure on two very busy bus routes.

Below is what is currently planned for buses as part of the New Network. A frequent bus from New Lynn along Tiverton/Wolverton, past the location of the station and then up Sandringham Rd (yellow). There is also a less frequent bus that will travel around the suburbs and pass the station (pink).

Owairaka station buses

Looking a bit closer at the station’s possible location, we can see that there’s probably room between the shopping area and the motorway for it to be located – including potential for good pedestrian links from both Richardson Road and Stoddard Road Alternatively it could be a little further south-west and a little closer to Maioro St. Note that due to construction of the Waterview Connection, the aerial photo is pretty out of date:

owairaka-station
One of the most exciting things about the station is its ability to be a catalyst in the transformation of this area – which already in recent times has seen pretty major change with some large retailers setting up (Countdown etc.) The Unitary Plan’s zoning is for a pretty extensive town centre – which enables a lot of residential intensification as well as retail and other business activities:

owairaka-zoning
You can see that not only is the town centre zone pretty extensive as it goes right along Stoddard Road between Richardson and Sandringham, but also there are some pretty massive areas of Terraced Housing and Apartment Building (THAB) zone in orange and Mixed Housing Urban in light brown zones beyond that. In fact, at a sub-regional scale it stands out as one of the main areas of upzoning in this part of the isthmus:

isthmus-zoning
Servicing this area – which has tremendous growth potential – with rail would be key catalyst for seeing such growth actually happening and could also result in Owairaka Station being a pretty busy station in the future, especially once you add in feeder buses serving the New Windsor & Blockhouse Bay areas.

15 comments to The Owairaka train station

  • Garth Houltham

    I agree with your comments Matt. If central government, Housing NZ and Auckland Council are looking for a suitable area for intensification this has to be it. Considering the land for the line does not have to be purchased the cost needed to develop this spur line means the potential benefits would be huge.The development could include a large number of affordable houses thus solving the present lack for first home buyers. Housing NZ owns a large number of properties ripe for redevelopment.

  • Neil

    So why would you position the station at one end of the development close to parks, where effectively no one lives or works?

    • bbc

      Because those parks no longer exist there’s now a motorway there. Any further north and you’d be outside of the rail designation and need to demolish the town centre.

      More up to date image shows this better: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3857/14374587003_0c2bde1ac2_b.jpg

    • It’s ideal if Stations are at natural points of activity like shopping areas, they each provide business and convenience for each other, visibility, foot traffic. But also as Matt shows the two other conditions are connections with other Transit modes [and cycle lanes], and a quantity of walk-up. A Transit Station can work with just one of these, like Albany, which has very little walk-up or commerce near it, but it is much better if it can tick all the boxes.

      Clearly this is almost an ideal Station because as Matt shows it ticks all three boxes. Or at least it will if that Frequent Bus takes the slightly less direct route to Sandringham Rd via Richardson and Stoddard to connect directly with it. Why do I say ‘almost’ ideal? Because half of the walkup will always have to cross the motorway to get to it. This can be ameliorated by the quality of the pedestrian and cycling routes and especially road crossings on bridges across the motorway severance, that will need work.

      Like the NW busway this line is yet another Transit ROW that should be being built at the same time as the vast motorway works, but for our silo-ed and visionless Transport agencies [NZTA, AT, KiwiRail], and single mode obsessed government, and Council that rushes to uncritically support anything the government wants to build.

      [How's that for an equal opportunities complaint]

  • Rob Mayo

    There is already a shopping arcade at 190 Stoddard Road called the Tulja Centre that could direct connect to the station. A perfect transit network-integrated retail opportunity.

  • See also http://www.aktnz.co.nz/2010/05/06/new-station-stoddard-rd/

    Matt, you might want to track down the council reports already done into this station, around 2010. I believe there’s a block of land earmarked for it somewhere.

  • JimboJones

    I think I’ve said this before, but there is a big slice of almost vacant land on the May Road side of the purple bit on the bottom right of the circle on your map (currently a set of unmaintained warehouses most of which doesn’t look used). Would be a great place for some high rise apartments – I can’t see any of the locals complaining if it was high rise. Would be a great start to intensifying this area. But please no more state housing, already got enough of that…

  • I so want this, but I’m biased because it would directly benefit us as we live just a few minutes’ walk away from the proposed station site. I’m a YIMBY.

  • I am curious – does the eventual rail link (from Avondale to Penrose incorporate only a single track or is the eventual goal to have twin tracks (allowing trains to run both directions simultanously) ??

  • Just out of curiousity – will this line be used for “Passenger Transport” only or will other uses be made of this line such as frieght ??

    • Well as we’re proposing a two station spur line terminating at Mt Roskill it’s pretty hard to imagine any freight use.

    • Depends who eventually builds it Murray. If some future KiwiRail, it will be primarily for freight (which is why the designation exists in the first place, and is why the motorway works have done some future-proofing). But the proposal here is suggesting an alternate purpose for the designation, of using part of the route for a passenger-only branch line. Neither possibility has any official proposal or backing at the present time, and my guess is 20 years from now it’ll still be a designation only.

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