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Newmarket Crossing gets green light

Auckland Transport have announced that they’d received consent for the Newmarket Crossing project which should also mean they can start getting on with the Parnell Station.

AT has received approval from independent planning commissioners for the construction of a bridge to replace Sarawia Street level crossing. AT has 30 working days to review and formally accept the recommendation.

AT sought consent for this last year and the bridge that will link Cowie St in Newmarket with Laxon Tce allowing for the Sarawia St level crossing to be closed.

Newmarket Crossing May 2015

The crossing needs to be closed as AT/Kiwirail say its proximity to the Newmarket Junction and rail safety procedures limit capacity and flexibility on the line between Newmarket and Britomart. AT have also said in the past that getting the level crossing closed is required before the Parnell Station can be opened.

In a tweet earlier today they suggested that with the consent issued they will start construction on the project later this year.

Of course that would assume there is no environment court appeal and given the attitude of some of the residents so far, I wouldn’t rule that out.

On the Parnell station, the platforms were completed last year but the station is waiting for Kiwirail to move the old Newmarket station building to the site as it was intended to be part of a faux heritage precinct but that’s now been scuttled after the Mainline Steam sheds were demolished to make way for a retirement village – although that’s better than an earlier suggestion for the site of bus parking. It also needs other station features like lights, signs and hopefully some shelter on the side opposite the old building.

Parnell pic June15

Another thing missing and that so far AT have no intention of providing is some way convenient to get across the tracks. If the station gets developed as AT say on their website, the only option will be a minimum 230m detour up to the existing underpass although if you were coming from the proposed access to Nicolas Lane it will be about double that.

Of course pretty everything about the planning for the Parnell station has been wrong. It should have been a few hundred metres further north with access from the end of Heather St which is closer to where more people live or are going for work or education along with an easier walk to Parnell. A few hundred metres can make quite a lot of difference, just look at the impact of Grafton Station compared to its predecessor of Boston Rd.

Parnell Station Alternate Location sketch

Lastly we’re hearing suggestions that only Southern Line trains will stop at Parnell although this hasn’t been confirmed. Based on discussions I’ve had in the past I assume this relates to modelling showing that if all trains stopped there it would have severe impacts on rail capacity and reliability.

155 comments to Newmarket Crossing gets green light

  • Alex

    Can someone please explain why AT decided to put Parnell Station where it current is? Its in the middle of bloody nowhere with small catchment. Its a long walk to everything.

    • KLK

      Among others, Mike Lee.

      He fought tooth and nail to have it here and based around the heritage buildings of Mainline Steam. Rather than, you know, where more potential users are.

      So now not only do we have a station in the wrong location, but the heritage aspect is no longer there. Lee needs to own this sub-optimal outcome. It might well be saved by the retirement village and student accommodation nearby, but only if there is direct access.

      Finally, southbound trains only? This wasn’t identified during modeling?

      • mfwic

        No said southern line not southbound only.

      • ALPHATRON

        ARTA’s initial planning for Parnell station back in 2007/8 had the station much nearer to Parnell Rise including a potential link through the then planned development that now houses KiwiRail on Stanley St. Originally Fegus Gammie, then CEO of ARTA supported this location, but then did a u turn when Mike Lee and others starting pushing the Mainline Line steam site, despite all evidence sowing that the Parnell rise site was a better location.

        • James C

          The rumour mill also talks of the further north location impeding future upgrades to the route from there onwards, including possible replacement or relocation of the Strand bridges.

    • Stuart Donovan

      it’s not only a long walk from the planned location, but it also has poor bus connections. Having it further north would have enabled people to get off the train and jump on a link bus straight up Parnell Rise.

    • One big reason is that it’s cheaper to go where it’s going. The northern site in the concept in the post is privately owned land and would need to be bought. The site that’s being used is as far north as possible while still being on land already owned by KiwiRail.

  • RossS

    As a potential future user of the Parnell Station, I have been following the progress on the Sarawia St crossing with interest – hoping for a speedy resolution in order to get the new station operational.

    When I initially read that the Cowley St Residents Association (CSRA) were suggesting the underpass option was preferred over the Cowley St bridge I was quite sceptical. The logistics of constructing an underpass under a busy operational rail line seemed far more difficult than building an overbridge. However I spent some time last night reading the evidence of the experts engaged by CSRA and I have had my views changed. CSRA went to quite some effort (and presumably expense) to prepare a prelimary design of an underpass which appeared to address a lot of the criticisms of the original Opus concepts. Amongst the experts engaged by CSRA were two people with significant experience in construction of this type, both here in NZ for Kiwirail and with similar overseas projects.

    Presumably the AT evidence has prevailed in this case, so it will be interesting to read the commissioners’ report and understand how convincing the decision is, and whether the CSRA has grounds to appeal it.

    • mfwic

      The problem they faced (and the commissioners face it too) is that a resource consent has to be granted if adverse effects can be avoided, remedied or mitigated. The fact that a better option exists doesn’t enter into it. If AT managers choose to spend public money like water to remove any project risk from themselves there is not much that can stop them.

      • Max

        Having read the pro and con underpass document it was clear to me at least that the underpass had major issues, such as sightlines, tighter curves, and construct ability.

  • Ben

    It does make sense to only allow the Southern Line to stop in Parnell. 6tph in both Southern and Western and 2tph from Onehunga during peak, all stopping in Parnell which only has two platform would be a massive bottleneck to the network. Newmarket itself is busy as it is, imagine that in Parnell.

    • Bigted

      That is yet another reason for the western trains to by pass Newmarket and save 10 minutes on their trip.

      • Ben

        The problem with that is there are many commuters from the Western Line who works in Newmarket or needs to transfer in Newmarket to get into Southern/Onehunga Line. You do not expect these people to get out from Grafton Station and walk to Newmarket or go all the way to Britomart and transfer there. That would affect patronage.

        • Bigted

          Problem solved by having the Onehunga trains going to Henderson instead on Britomart. It takes out the need for the extra western runs (that use the same amount of trains as before so more 3 cars and less 6 cars) and reduces the number of train through the congested Quay junction.
          This will not fly with AT as it doesn’t support their need for the CRL, once the CRL is in there are plans for a direct train from Henderson to Otahuhu via Newmarket and not the CRL.

          • Jake

            1. your suggestion might discourage the onehunga line commuters as their line isnt direct to the cbd anymore. transferring would add ¬5 more minutes to their travel.
            2. it might be costly, as not that many goes from south to west vice versa. to make it viable option.
            3. onehunga right now is only 2tph at peak and 1tph off peak i think, so it wont make much difference if you take it out of quay junction.

          • Bigted

            Jake but you also take a western line train out as well, this is not an extra on the western line it replaces one that is already there freeing up extra units to run more 6 cars.
            Not everyone goes to the CBD and during peak there is a southern train right behind the Onehunga train so close that it often has to wait at Penrose for it.

          • Nick R

            Wait, so you want to pull one train an hour off the western line city service to run to Onehunga? So that would be even ten minute headways except for one in six which goes to a random non-city direction leaving a 20 minute hole in the timetable?

            As a regular western line user, to that I would say bugger off!

          • Bigted

            Nick then you can bypass Newmarket, anyone wanting Newmarket or south can get on train that goes that way. By the way it is three trains an hour as no Onehunga trains would go to Brito as not all trains need to go there after all 70% of Aucklands workers don’t work in or near the CBD.

          • Nick R

            I don’t want to bypass Newmarket, it’s not my usual stop I got on the train at Newmarket this evening as it happens! I’d rather not have my service frequency to Newmarket halved even if you could do that, however you can’t because you don’t have the spare fleet required to run such a long pattern without pulling vehicles off the mainline patterns. There is no point pulling trains out of busy service to run empty crosstown things that people will avoid in the first place and transfer off at first opportunity in the second.

          • Bigted

            Nick you would need one more set to make the Onehunga to Henderson route work but you save three sets that are already on the western line. By the way it is not about what you want its about how the network works best, Pax from Papakura would like to be able to go direct to Panmure like the used to be able to but the network doesn’t do that anymore so they got over it.

          • Nick R

            Erm, How exactly do you save three sets on the western line? We don’t even have enough sets to make even half the western line trains six cars long so I don’t see where you can pull three more off.

            Oh and FYI Newmarket is the second biggest destination on the network, why remove it from the line?

          • Bigted

            Nick have you been paying attention? The Onehunga trains go as far as Henderson replacing every second western train set, it will only require one extra set on the Onehunga line maybe two during peak. Allowing more to run as six car sets (not only from the west) taking the pressure of the the overloaded three car sets in the middle of peak.

          • Nick R

            Ok I follow now, you want to slash the service frequency and capacity on the western line to half it’s current level in order to run a cross suburban line instead. Awful idea sorry!

          • Bigted

            It doesn’t cut either the capacity or the frequency on the western line. While it cut the frequency of directs to Brito units it actually increases the capacity on the ones that do and while avoiding the 10 minutes wasted going in and out of Newmarket making a quicker trip to Britomart and not only from the west due to reducing the congestion, all this while those going to Newmarket or further south catch the appropriate train.

          • Nick R

            So half the service frequency and half the capacity to Britomart where most western line travelers are going, combined with half the service frequency and too much capacity to Newmarket, just so you can run ghost trains to the inner southern line where almost nobody from the west is headed? Oh and you stop people from the onehunga branch having direct access to the city at the same time. Why exactly would you ever want to do any of that?

            And seriously, you want to ‘save’ people time through Newmarket by making them wait 20 minutes between services in the first place? With savings like that who needs delay!

            People wanting to travel between west and south are very well provided for, they can connect between the lines running every ten minutes or better at Newmarket already.

          • Bigted

            No Nick you are still not paying attention or you are as stupid as you are starting to make out, not half the service capacity but yes half the frequency to Britomart but not everyone goes there, the capacity is increased by using some of the every second three car EMU to form more 6 cars and increase the capacity on the other lines by reallocating some there.
            There are 57 train sets and 54 are used during the peak up from 52 before the doubling of frequency on the western line, so there is now double the frequency on the western line but only 500 extra seats on the whole network. If math is not your strong suit find an eight year old to explain it to you.

          • Nick R

            Ted, your plan amounts to taking half the trains on the western line plus all the trains on the onehunga line out of service to the city centre, where most people are going, and using them to run a west to south pattern where there is negligible demand. Please show me the math where that doesn’t savage the capacity to britomart, or where it move more people?

            You keep saying ‘but not everyone goes to Britomart’ but the fact is the vast majority do go to Britomart and almost nobody goes across town.

          • Bigted

            So Nick as you can probably work out now AT has increased the congestion through Quay junction by 3 trains per hour to provide 500 more seats (over the whole network) when they could have added those 500 seats without increasing the congestion. AT are out to prove the need for the CRL by showing that they can increase frequency but need the CRL to increase it anymore but they have effectively reduced the capacity on certain services to do it. Did you know the 5:28 train from Papakura now has double the capacity that it had previously but the 6:58 up until yesterday had been halved so that it was at capacity by the third station.

          • Bigted

            No Nick it doesn’t take half the capacity of the western trains out of service to Britomart it actually increases capacity at the same time giving those not going there a more direct option. There are plenty of other services going from Newmarket to Britomart for those on the Onehunga trains most of which board those train due to them being 2 minutes ahead of the southern line trains and not because they came form Onehunga.

          • Nick R

            Ted, the point isn’t to move seats around, it’s to move people around. They could run all 57 units back and forth in the depot sidings all day and move half a million seats around, for all the good it would do. Yes putting more trains into town increases congestion at Quay Park, that’s hardly a revelation, you seem to be suggesting the goal is to not bring trains into britomart to avoid congestion. I hardly see how not running trains is a good way to run a rail network.

            I’m still struggling to see how going from six trains an hour from the west to britomart down to three trains an hour is an increase in capacity. I cannot work out any allocation of fleet where going from six to three on the west, and from two to none on the Onehunga, gets more seats or more people into the city, or more people moved to anywhere.

          • Bigted – this probably won’t work once construction starts at Mt Eden, as I imagine only one track will be able to be left open, meaning the maximum Western Line frequency would be 20 mins.

          • Bigted

            jezza why would they have increased the frequency on the western line to reduce it again due to the CRL build? The installation of points (that will be required to link to the CRL) will be done during a BOL and no effect commuter services.

          • Hmmm, maybe you are right, but the track through Newmarket was restricted to one track for the whole two year duration of the station build and that project didn’t involve grade separation of the tracks. I doubt they will be able to do that just over a Christmas BOL.

          • James C

            You haven’t seen the drawings for Mt Eden, have you Bigted? They’ll be digging some very big holes right under where Mt Eden station and the NAL currently sits. Chucking in a set of turnouts over a long weekend isn’t going to cover it.

          • Bigted

            James C it worked with the Quay junction and many others around Auckland so why would it not work at Mt Eden?

          • Bigted – I’ll spell this out clearly. Unlike Quay park the Mt Eden junction is going to be grade separated so the lines entering from the east and leaving to the west from the CRL will pass under the eastbound North Auckland Line as it passes through Mt Eden junction. You can’t tell me they will be able to do this in a Christmas shutdown!

          • Bigted

            jezza there is plenty of other works that require more than one BOL to complete works but they don’t interfere with the frequency of running services in the mean time.

      • Bryan

        As a western line commuter who works off the Strand (25 minute walk from Newmarket, 20 minute walk from Britomart, 5-10 minute walk from Parnell) , I’ll be most annoyed if western trains don’t stop at Parnell. Bypassing Newmarket is a non-starter for western trains, that would inconvenience far too many people to be acceptable (usually several dozen disembark from my morning train).

        There is a large catchment of apartment dwellers next to the station site, such as the Dakota on Cheshire St and several more under construction.

        An underpass at the northern end of the platform would be preferable to a bridge, or just ramps down to Carlaw Park Ave.

        • Grant

          I think a less frequent western line will also run from Swanson through the CRL all the way to Onehunga that would go through Parnell, just need to go through a few stations! (or Transfer at Newmarket to a southern one). I guess it’s luck of the draw as K’Rd, Aotea, Britomart will be more popular destinations.

          • Bigted

            Once the CRL is up and running it will only be the Onehunga trains that stop at Parnell as they will be to only ones going that way.

          • Grant

            Just like I said. I guess double (6tph) could just terminate at Newmarket and return to Swanson/West somewhere so only every 2nd one go to Onehunga (3tph) if the Onehunga line can’t handle it. This is what I see on some graphic post CRL running pattern but not sure if it’s the currently planned one.

          • Nick R

            The Onehunga and western line trains will stop there with the CRL (I.e half the network) being that they will be the same line.

          • Bigted

            Grant but all the AT graphics show the trains going from Swanson to the Airport via the CRL and Onehunga (double tracked apparently even though there is insufficient space to double track some of it), the latest from AT is that there will be no heavy rail to the airport so you just don’t know.

          • Bigted

            Nick actually 1/3 as there will also be a new line from Otahuhu to Henderson via Newmarket but not Parnell or the CRL.

          • Nik

            Transit/Rail to the Airport will only start to be seriously considered once the CRL goes operational, when I’m predicting that rail to the Shore and rail to the Airport will both increase in the public conscience, as the public get the hang of using Transit for commuting.

            Any discussion until it gets mainstream acceptance/media air time, without prompting is just randomness on a blog.

          • Nick R

            BigTed, well there is that that but will only be three trains an hour, and it might only run at peak times. I doubt they’ll have that thing running all day seven days a week, the demands will be very low. However every train of the main western line all-day frequent pattern will serve Parnell.

          • Bigted

            Nick how much demand do you think there is to go to the CBD outside of peak?

          • Nick R

            Currently there are just over 11,000 trips through britomart between 9am and 4pm, so about 1500 an hour which is about a quarter the rate as at peak, however the off peak is much longer. Just under half of all trips to or from Britomart on a weekday are off peak. If you’re talking across the whole week, the majority of rail trips happen off peak.

            With the CRL you might expect that to double or triple. It’s quite busy from 6pm through till around 9pm, you still get around 2,000 an hour. That’s weekdays, I don’t have any data on weekends however.

          • Bigted

            Nick where do you get your data from? Even AT doesn’t collect data between Brito, Meadowbank, Greenlane or Mt Eden.

          • err, yes they do; it called the HOP card, they know exactly how many start and end where. And you couldn’t be more wrong about the importance of the centre for rail network trips, and demand in general.

          • Bigted

            Patrick Reynolds not everyone has a hop card and not everyone goes in or out of Brito there are people that transition there so are not counted in or out.

          • HOP includes paper tickets too and HOP trips make up the vast majority of all PT trips so are a good indication of where people are going. For those with cards, AT can see everywhere they tag on and tag off which allows them to work out how they would have got to their final destination if they transferred i.e. if they tag on at New Lynn and tag off at Sylvia Park they would have passed through Britomart to do so.

            They have provided us with the data in the past on this. One example is this from the Busway showing a matrix stations people went from and to
            http://transportblog.co.nz/2016/01/27/busway-station-data-for-2015/

            We also have that matrix for rail trips which has been used to create posts like these.
            http://transportblog.co.nz/2015/08/05/2015-station-boarding-results/
            http://transportblog.co.nz/2016/01/21/station-hop-data-2015-v-2014/

          • Over 80% do, and that is more than enough to get a very clear picture. We do know the numbers pretty well.

          • Bigted

            Patrick Reynolds it should read ‘percentage or recorded trips’.
            AT will not release figures as they don’t support their argument of how many go where on the network.

            They also have no way of recording how many people are not on public transport because they want to go somewhere without having to go via Britomart.

          • Ted you’re clutching at straws. AT have provided us the data for rail trips on a number of occasions. Our friend Aaron Schiff even made this visualisation of rail data from a few years back, to Britomart is likely to be even stronger now based on the info we’ve seen since then.
            http://schiff.co.nz/interactive/aklrail/

          • Bigted

            Matt L you assume that someone going from New Lynn to Sylvia park has gone via Britomart when it takes about the same amount of time to go via Westfield, it is three trains as opposed to two but roughly the same amount of time.

            AT will not provide anything that doesn’t suit their agenda.

          • Bigted

            Matt that is very good IF everyone used a hop card and everyone with a hop card tags it.

          • Nick R

            Ted, this makes me wonder if you have even used a train in Auckland in the last couple of years? Every trip is recorded according to its origin and destination station, be that with a hop card or with a paper ticket, even a free gold card user needs to get a ticket with their destination station on it.

            AT know exactly how many trips there are between every pair of stations, and they have willingly released that information into the public domain. I don’t know what information you’re suggesting conspiracy is required to suppress.

          • 80% is pretty high but it’s structural. There is no good reason, in fact only bad reasons, to suggest that non-HOP users are behaviourly similar to HOP users (there are reasons why people make personal decisions to have them*). For instance, non-HOP users are more likely to be tourists (probably a bit more likely to travel off-peak in and around the city centre) and I expect tourists to have noticeably distinct usage patterns.

            On a related note, I imagine tertiary concessins students are more likely to have one of their trips be peak and the other not (depending on how you consider peak).

            With respect to knowing whether or not, say, Greenlane to Sylvia Park trip goes through Britomart or Westfield. This can be somewhat constructed by comparing tag-off times against arrival times (as generally, I believe, a Manukau train and a Britomart train don’t arrive at approx. the same time).

            *My mother, for instance, only has one because I bought her one. Otherwise she uses trains so infrequently that the additional outlay doesn’t seem worthwhile. I also suggest that such infrequent users are more likely to not catch peak services.

          • Ted 80% of rail journeys use HOP, when paper tickets are added to this the data is near complete: You are just flat wrong that the reported data are incomplete or inferior to your reckons. AT do know where people are boarding and alighting on the network. And sadly for your theory Britomart is wildly dominant as a destination and starting point on the network.

            http://transportblog.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/STATION-BOARDINGS-2015.jpg

          • Nick R

            Whirsler, all rail trips are on hop. Whether they are with the card or with a paper ticket, they are all on the hop system and all have the same data recorded. When anyone buys a paper ticket they are required to put in their destination station, which is recorded against their origin station and the time.

          • James C

            It seems that AT isn’t the only one who doesn’t acknowledge data that doesn’t suit their agenda.

        • Bigted

          Nick, I’m on at least one most days. Matt from the information I see supplied to AT it makes the information they supply to you look a little unbelievable.

          • So Ted do show your source then. Although who has better data on AT’s services than AT it is hard to imagine? The operators do not have all the HOP data. What can you possibly mean.

          • Bigted

            Patrick Reynolds, ATs services are not supplied by AT they are contracted out.

          • Yeah, this is not news; but the service providers do not run HOP, and certainly do not have all the data. So what’s your source that is so much more accurate than HOP and that somehow concludes that the City Centre isn’t by far the most important centre of demand?

            Facts are more persuasive here.

          • Bigted

            Yes Patrick but they have eyes and know more about whats going on than At do.

          • So, sigh, no data but lots of reckons…

          • Bigted

            Patrick if ATs data is so good why are there half full six car trains and overloaded 3 car units, finally after AT telling the operator they were wrong for 6 weeks the allowed some units to be reallocated.

            Everything doesn’t need to go to Britomart unless you are AT with an agenda to prove the best value for the PT dollar is to build a tunnel under part of the city.

          • Data is not the only input into resource allocation. Good information can’t seem to stop people believing they know best, eh? Anyway, even if the schedulers are brilliant, there are not enough units currently for optimised network utilisation.

          • Bigted – you seem to imply that you are very knowlegable on the system but yet once facts are presented all you do is clutch at straws and claim the data is made up based on some ‘information’ you have received. Anyway if you were as knowledgeable as you claim you would have figured by now that the reason the 3-car trains are packed and the 6-car ones are half empty is exactly that, one is half the size of the other. The train at say 4:50 which is allocated a 3-car train will maybe have 80 % of the loading than the train at 5:00, which gets allocated the 6-car train, therefore the 4:50 will appear more packed, doesn’t mean it has more people on it and therefore should have the 6-car train allocated to it.

          • Bigted

            jezza 350 people on a 6 car EMU looks very different to 350 people on a 3 car but it is still 350 people.

          • James C

            Furthermore (to Jezza’s comment), six car trains have to be injected into the flow pre-peak and taken out of it post-peak using the only staff and slots available. They also have to make complete trips to and from terminals, which sometimes puts them 50-odd minutes out of the way of the demand. Getting two trips 2/3 full does more good than one trip packed… of course, you only ever see complaints about the packed one. Furtherfurthermore, the peaks change with weather and events. one day the 5:34 will be the most jammed and the next day it will be ok, but the 5:44 will be jammed. These things are some of the under-explained reasons the CRL and associated 3rd-main upgrades are so good – it allows for capacity boosts from 6-car sets and express services to be applied exactly where and when required, without having to settle for a next best (or less) compromise.

          • Bigted – that was largely my point, you seem to struggle with reasoning but I’ll give it another crack. There are two trains, one leaving at 4:50 and the other at 5:00 and you have 3 train sets available so only one can be 6-car. The 4:50 train has 400 people and the 5:00 has 460 people, so the 4:50 is 3-car and the 5:00 is 6-car. The 4:50 will be packed as there are more people than seats, while the 5:00 will be relatively empty as there are plenty of spare seats. However, that doesn’t mean the allocation of trains is wrong as the 5:00 still has more people on board than the 4:50.

          • Bigted

            jezza but as a three car EMU only seats 234 by having 400 on it there is 166 standing so having anyone being able to move to get off causes its own issues.
            Bigger issues are caused when AT refuses (for 8 weeks) to allocate a 6 car EMU to run that only goes to Brito once then goes back into the yard till the PM peak but leaves the first station with 230 pax, I personally would hate to be 5 stations up the line. The next train a 6 car EMU leave the same station 8 minutes later with 140 pax, so I hope that clears it up for you.

  • Adam W

    So what are the plans for the old Newmarket train station building if they are not going to be used here?

    • Presumably it’s still planned, but hopefully not; it’s bogus, it serves no purpose; ie stations of this size don’t need buildings, and is only going there to satisfy one very grumpy but entirely misguided Councillor’s nostalgic ideas about public transport. Yes the same man who gave us the pointless noddy tram circulating stupidly around Wynyard.

      A better suggestion was made on Twitter yesterday and that’s to use it for Kiwi Rail’s Strand station; its a better fit with excursion trains than with our coming Metro, and there’s likely more space down there….?

      A more pressing need is to provide a crossing point at the city end of the platforms. And for that I know AT have a bridge planned but wouldn’t an underpass work better with the topography? The western side falls away sharply. Going up needlessly is best avoided, The chessboard patterned building is student lodge and the circulation space to the street on its western side is a long way below platform level:

      • Here’s the view from Nichols Lane: Do AT have access to this gated route at all? This is the obvious desire line to the station. If not then the case that this station is in the wrong place is even stronger. The alternative is at the end of the lane on the left of the pic; up a considerable height, but at least directly accessible from a public RoW…?

        • Damian

          All privately owned, no easements or shared ownership as far as I can tell from the quick-access property records. There also seems to be no way to use a northern (left-hand of your picture) access lane, but there seems to be an access road to the right-hand, at the southern side, going through the Domain. [Well, you could use the northern lane, but would need a path along the rail line (in a narrow environment) first, as the station is a good bit more to the southeast.]

          Sure, the student accommodation folks would be foolish to bar this way, but they certainly can. Not ideal at all.

        • Andy C

          Check the consenting history for the Nicholls Lane student village – I’m familiar with the consenting history and that desire line is meant to be protected as a thoroughfare thru to the train station, once opened and assuming AT build a connection from the station to the student village. Domain land has to be traversed however, and that might be tricky bit, governance-wise.

          • It does go directly there, good to hear, but that gate is odd in that context then…

            I’m usually no fan of sending pedestrians on longer routes to avoid traffic, but Stanley St is very nasty makes me feel that an elevated ped/bike crossing is warranted at Alten road. Especially having a step hill on the western [university] side means that there could be no climb from that side….

            The western end of Nichols Lane needs making civilised for humans however. Extraordinary to think this is a new road… meh.

  • xX_Track_Crosser_57_Xx

    I’m assuming there will be a pedestrian level-crossing at the northern end of Parnell Station?
    Because if it isn’t built it will become de-facto..

    In which case the underpass detour is less of an issue – except for those who have to or choose to use it.

    • Damian

      KiwiRail is strongly opposed to adding ANY at grade crossings – for whatever transport mode, including pedestrians – at all. If there is a lot of illegal crossing happening, expect to see big ugly fences.

      • Jake

        Really concern about the lack of platform access. If their prediction is correct that this is gonna be a busy station due to its proximity to the University/Tennis/Parnell/Strand/Domain (probably gonna blow prediction), then that one access, which is off way will either deter people from using the station or will force people to cross track illegally.This is gonna be a big problem for AT.

  • The domain side platform was supposed to have multiple access points, shelters, and an overbridge, as shown here…

    http://transportblog.co.nz/2013/07/22/parnell-station-delayed/

    What happened? The whole lot seems to have been dumped – access, shelters and bridge. It’ll be the only station on the network not to have shelter on a platform.

    • The AT page for the project even suggests it won’t have ticket machines till an unscheduled Phase 2

      • Damian

        Well, if only Southern Trains are stopping, it also barely will have any trains, won’t it? Why splash out on other things then :-/

        • Ben

          Parnell Station is expected to be one of the busiest due to its proximity to the University, Domain, Strand, Parnell etc. This station needs to have MORE money splashed into it.

          • Grant

            Yes my pick is that this station will be more popular than their estimates!

          • Max

            “Yes my pick is that this station will be more popular than their estimates!”

            Can’t see how, if only 1/3 trains stop here.

      • Bigted

        To add to that AT have no plans to gate it so making it the new entry/exit point to/from the city for the freeloaders.

        • Ben

          I expect this station to be the new breeding ground for all those vandals and thug wannabe youngsters.

      • Grant

        Stage 1 also does mention: “Two platforms with lighting, CCTV, and ticket machines”

        • Bigted

          but not gated so giving the freeloaders an access point to the city.

          • Grant

            Going into CBD is full gated so perhaps not too much of an issue….then again coming from out west…flip this could be bad.

          • Bigted

            Grant but Parnell is close enough to the CBD for the freeloaders to get on or off there.

          • Lets not forget Grafton and Mt Eden are not gated either and those have pretty easy access to the CBD too dependent on where you are going.

          • Bigted

            Peter N The new Mt Eden station will be gated.

          • Dan

            Britomart’s gates can be bypassed by using the elevator at the back end of the station. You take that and skip the gated level entirely. Fare evaders know this, I often see them making use of it.

  • Harriet

    1. Why did this take so long, our planning laws are a joke.

    2. Parnell should have been an island station Western line should then have bypassed Newmarket with a 8tph southbound it wouldn’t have made a difference for those transferring south like myself and people going to Newmarket would lose a few mins but the simplication of the junction would mean time savings for everyone else. Would also make it easier to gate plus provide shelter.

  • Matthew

    Unbelievable they couldn’t just close the crossing and put a route through to Furneaux way.

    • Don M

      My thoughts as well.
      It probably would have required the purchase of 2 – 4 properties but even at current market prices it would be much cheaper and easier to do with no interruption to rail services.

      • Max

        Those are multi-storey appartements. Not so cheap.

        • Max

          Plus, that would have required compulsory acquisition of (presumably) dozens of privately owned apartments from different owners, a process that is very expensive and time-consuming, and has much higher legal standards to meet before courts will permit it.

          Also, the rail impact will be quite limited with a bridge, I think. A few weeks in total at most, maybe less? Supports and earthworks would be done mainly without interrupting the line, and only the deck itself (prefabricated?) would need longer closures.

  • robincole

    If Mainline Steam had remained there, passengers to and from Parnell Station would have had to walk across an operational railyard as seen here; http://transportblog.co.nz/2013/07/22/parnell-station-delayed/

    • Well thankfully the train enthusiasts went out to the fringes where land is cheap as they should, and there is the possibility of a more appropriate use of this inner city site. Can we now dispatch the faux placement of the old Newmarket station building to somewhere more appropriate too? The Strand KR passenger terminal looks on the face of it to be a good suggestion…?

  • kelvin

    Parnell station would be an alternative station for university students. If they built direct walking link, it would only take 10minutes, making it better than britomart.

    Also looking at the map, the station is surrounded by greenfields, making apartment development around it very desirable.

    I envisioned this station will be very busy, much more than say, greenlane.

    All trains should eventually stop at this station.

    • Bigted

      Only 1/3rd of trains will go via Parnell.

      • James C

        Which leaves open capacity on the line for special event trains serving Domain events, tennis, University and other things. Also resilience opportunities for recovery from incidents and accidents on other lines.Great!

    • Bryan

      The only “greenfields” around the Parnell station site is the domain, and that isn’t going to get built on. All the other land is “brownfields”, either the former KR land or existing housing and commercial premises.

  • Chris

    AT really need to deliver on their earlier plans for the station, as well as spend some money on what’s most important; making it easily accessible (http://transportblog.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/parnel-connections.jpg).

    • Max

      True, but AT also has to implement a New Bus Network over the next 2 years, and that is done, as one of their project managers told me “on the smell of an oily rag”. Agree that this station needs more love, but as usual, the public transport funding is way too little, and not all of it needs to go into rail.

      What worries me more is the decisions that are already cast into stone (or concrete). You can always add shelters, and even crossings later – much harder to tweak the location, or ensure access through new subdivision (though as per one person’s comment above maybe that has been thought about in time after all).

  • Does anyone know why this station wasn’t built as an island platform given they dug up all the tracks through here anyway during the 2011-12 Christmas shutdown? It seems it would make it much more valuable for transfers.

    • Bigted

      AT never had any intention of this being a station that would have transfers as it will be a one train station once the CRL is installed. Newmarket and Britomart (Aotea probably too) will continue to be the main stations for transfers around the CBD, Otahuhu will become the big one in the south with Papatoetoe being the most popular for those coming from the south going to Manukau.

      • A station with 6 trains per hour is not insignificant or marginal, it is after all what all stations on the eastern or western lines have now, except those that are interlined with other services, and many of the big catchment southern line stations like Papakura. 6tph is a turn up and go ‘Rapid’ frequency and can deliver a high level of service.

        The reasons for the side platforms are various and include; keeping capital cost down on our underfunded network, rail engineers wanting a straight run up the valley, and maintaining rail access to the train buffs’ shed…. was it the right decision? Probably just another one of our short term compromises. Again.

        It is clearly better to head via Grafton post CRL with half the services through Newmarket, who will miss the dozy crawl round Vector, and with two routes to the massive demand centre why not use them both equally?

        • Bigted

          Once the CRL is open there will only be the trains going to/from Onehunga (Swanson-Onehunga) that will go that way, the Papakura to Manukau will go via Mt Eden and the Otahuhu to Henderson will go via Newmarket but not the CRL. Papakura is a transfer station to/from the Puke shuttles.

          • Why do you bother with your inaccurate lists of things we all know (better) while completely ignoring the main points raised? No Papakura train will visit Mt Eden. There will be 6 tph, all the western line CRL services, travel via Parnell; 3 go to Onehunga, 3 to Otahuhu (or Newmarket). Yes there is also proposed to be an infrequent (3tph) west south short runner, perhaps only at peak, Henderson- Otahuhu, that does stop at Mt Eden.

            The point is Parnell does get 6 tph and this is no conspiracy but rational, and is exactly 50% of the proposed city bound services through Newmarket.

        • Bigted

          That is 6 trains per hour in each direction but only at peak time.

          • Nick R

            No six trains per hour both ways all day every day, but Parnell won’t get the extra peak services in addition to that.

          • Bigted

            Nick I very much doubt they are going to run the Onehunga line (and western by default as they will become one and the same) at peak frequency all day 7days.

          • Try reading if you are capable, as stated above: ‘There will be 6 tph, all the western line CRL services, travel via Parnell; 3 go to Onehunga, 3 to Otahuhu (or Newmarket).’

          • Nick R

            No they won’t run the Western-Onehunga at *peak* frequency all day, but theywill run the western through the CRL and Parnell at six trains an hour each way all day, seven days.

            Peak frequency will be much higher again, up to 12 tph in the peak direction on the Western through the CRL.

          • Bigted

            Nick what part of Swanson to Onehunga as a single run don’t you get? AT actually have Swanson to the Airport via the CRL and Onehunga as one of their three routes there is no mention of part routes.
            Only Onehunga bound/from trains will go via Parnell.

          • Wow. Is wrong your middle name? Please study the outline plan below. You will see there is 6tph on the western through the CRL, Parnell and to Newmarket, thence 3tph to Onehunga. Little box right next to Parnell Station saying ‘6tph’

          • Nick R

            Base plan is for three trains an hour from Swanson to Onehunga and return alternating with three trains an hour Swanson to Newmarket and return. This gives 6tphpd Swanson to Newmarket via Parnell, with 3tphpd turning short there and 3tphpd continuing on the full pattern to Onehunga.

            No offence Ted but I’m pretty sure I’m familiar with the service plan for the CRL, given I was on the team that designed it.

          • Bigted

            Patrick Reynolds that is very different to anything that AT has on their website or I’ve seen before, it has the 3 routes that I mentioned before. AT have made no mention of the 3tph from Papakura going via Panmure (a route they dumped when Manukau opened in the interests of simplifying the network).

          • What AT have on their website is long out of date and meant to just show that the system can be expanded. The plan patrick has shown is what they’re actually working to.

          • Bigted

            Matt I had seen something similar a while ago but didn’t get a good look at it and then it was nowhere to be seen again.

        • Bigted

          Patrick I never said it stops at Mt Eden but it does go via Mt Eden as the new Mt Eden station is the western entry to the CRL and the Papakura trains will enter the CRL from the western side.
          Papakura to Manukau via the CRL, Swanson to Onehunga via CRL and Parnell and Otahuhu to Henderson via Newmarket (but not the CRL).

          Any other questions check with AT.

          • It is misleading to say via Mt Eden when a service isn’t via Mt Eden. You might as well say via Newton, another nearby place the service doesn’t stop at.

            I have no questions for you, only corrections.

          • Bigted

            Mt Eden is the entry point to the CRL so not to mention Mt Eden will be misleading in itself.

          • Sailor Boy

            Mt Eden junction is, not Mt Eden station, that is a really important distinction in terms of PT.

          • Bigted

            Sailor Boy Mt Eden station was not mentioned by me, Mt Eden junction does not yet exist.

          • Sailor Boy

            You used half a dozen other suburb names to mean stations, but we were all supposed to know that that one was the exception?

          • I marvel at your obtuseness Ted: No passenger can use a junction, passengers can only use stations, to think or talk meaningfully about a passenger service you have to understand it isn’t primarily about running machines but delivering a service. The former is entirely subservient to the later.

          • Bigted

            Sorry Patrick Reynolds I would have said past the L108 signal but I don’t know for sure it will still be there.

  • Sailor Boy

    Following on from the threads above, why are AT insisting on their terrible running pattern instead of the original (and CFN network that makes much more sense?

    • Bigted

      Even AT know that not everyone (over 70% of Aucklands workers) wants to go to Britomart so are finally coming up with transport solutions for the majority.

      • Sailor Boy

        That is completely irrelevant to my comment, please stay on topic.

      • It is also complete nonsense in terms of PT provision. Large numbers of people dispersed over a wide area with good road access and cheap to free parking do not drive PT use. Density of employment, education and habitation do. Features all to be found at their most intense in the AKL City Centre. Oh, and surprise surprise, also where the most intense uptake of PT services are. Your ‘fact’ sir, is an irrelevance to PT provision:

        Regional Employment, in thousands, 2012:

        • Bigted

          There is not really a choice when everything goes there.

          • Sailor Boy

            You will notice that all of those lines also go to other places.

          • Yes. Never ceases to amaze me that some people can apparently only see one end of a line: All those people using Britomart, where have they come from, where to go to? Yes that’s right all the other stations on the network, the whole 90-odd km of it, some as far away as Pukekohe, and beyond by transfer…

  • if my understanding is correct there is an underpass that links the two platforms by ramps and the Domain Underpass

    http://i.imgur.com/JZSywt9.jpg

  • Peadair

    For the past few years I have worked in retirement and lifestyle villages and they all require ambulance and family access. I suspect that by the time Parnell is commissioned this will be in place.

  • buttwizard69420

    Damn, I would have been commuting along the Western line to Parnell station to get to the village at the city end but that’s not really an option, apparently. Guess I’ll just get a new car.