Residents in the Auckland suburb of Ellerslie will benefit from a safer, more attractive train station with better access thanks to an NZ Transport Agency upgrade now underway.
In partnership with Auckland Transport and KiwiRail, the station’s platform will be reduced in width by two metres and extended by another 20 metres, and the Southern Line tracks relocated to create space for an additional northbound lane to be constructed on the adjacent Southern Motorway (State Highway 1) at a later date.
“As well as motorways, improving the effectiveness of public transport is a key part of our programme to ensure the transport network keeps pace with Auckland’s growth,” says the NZTA’s State Highway’s manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker. “This $8 million upgrade not only gives rail commuters a safer, more attractive station but creates a more pleasant environment for residents going to and from the Ellerslie Town Centre.
“The NZTA has established a close working relationship with Auckland Transport and KiwiRail to deliver this project before electrification in 2012, saving time, money and most importantly disruption to rail passengers.”
The station will look similar to those at Kingsland and Sylvia Park, with a new lift for pedestrian access connecting to bridges over the motorway and train lines. The existing stone ramp will be replaced by a set of stairs, and a second lift will provide better access to Kalmia Street from the rail overbridge. Two new shelters will be added to help protect passengers from the weather.
Auckland Transport Project Director for Rail Improvements Nick Seymour says the station enhancements will result in greater amenity with improved access for mobility users.
“Adding more passenger shelters on the platform will benefit waiting passengers giving them more space and seating comfort. We continue to work with both the NZTA and KiwiRail resulting in minimum disruption to the roading and rail networks,” Mr Seymour says.
Mr Seymour adds that rail patronage continues to rise, requiring stations to be enhanced with provision of well-designed facilities being a key element in attracting more people to use public transport.
As part of the upgrade, the pedestrian bridge from the town centre to the station will close temporarily. During the closure, the bridge will be lifted to a new height that gives improved clearance for traffic on the motorway beneath. The nearby underpass for pedestrians, cyclists and mobility users will remain open during the closure with security employed to monitor the site.