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New station building for KiwiRail

kiwirail station

 

KiwiRail has opened a new station building in central Auckland, for travellers to check in and relax prior to boarding their Northern Explorer scenic or Te Huia train journey.

66 The Strand, a former railway signals building which dates from around 1930, is located only a few hundred metres down The Strand platform, near the bottom of the Parnell Rise. The building has maintained its character by retaining its brick façade and ornate doors. The inside has been completely restored and renovated, adding modern features, such as a new café, waiting lounge and workspace area.

KiwiRail Chief Customer and Growth Officer Adele Wilson welcomed breathing new life into an outmoded rail station asset.

“The signals building once played an important role managing train movements in this part of Auckland, before signals were centralised and controlled electronically,” she said.

“Instead of demolishing the building, I’m proud of what the team have done repurposing it for modern times. It’s now a comfortable, convenient, multi-purpose space that people can enjoy.”

Wilson sad Great Journeys NZ Northern Explorer had seen attractive passenger numbers since the service restarted just over a year ago. In May 2024 KiwiRail is planning to start the high-quality Scenic Plus offering on the Northern Explorer.

“The new station building will help deliver an even better customer experience for Northern Explorer and Te Huia passengers, while keeping a strong link to New Zealand’s proud rail history,” she said.

Waikato regional councillor and Future Proof Public Transport Subcommittee chair Angela Strange said the transformation of the old signals building was quite remarkable.

“It will provide the thousands of Te Huia passengers travelling between Waikato and Auckland each month with fantastic facilities, before they go and when they arrive. I know they’re going to love it,” she said.

She said the timing couldn’t be better, with the next stage of service improvements rolling out on February 8, 2024. A third daily return service will run on Thursdays and Fridays, where demand has been highest, and a second return service on Saturdays.

“Since Te Huia was first established, our focus has been on providing a reliable service for our passengers. Increasing the number of services and travel time options on weekdays and weekends remains a long-term goal for Te Huia,” Strange said.