Friday, August 7, 2009

Auckland's railway -- the old and the new

I had cause to take a trip up to Glen Eden yesterday. No worries to me really that there was a bus stop-work meeting happening that day: there's rail as an alternative, and I always love that choice.

So, a bit of an opportunity for more railway shots. Above is the old station preserved at Glen Eden.

Going there, then coming back to head to the city for an afternoon appointment, I took some shots of part of the beginning of New Lynn's underground station, expected to be completed next year, or so.

Heading past the back of the old building which was the former Auckland Central Railway Station, I've often looked at these remnants of past days. The remains of the train platforms with some of their sweeping canopies. Now just another set of ruins in Auckland.

So, I dug out a set of photographs taken by a friend a long time ago of the central station when it was what it was, before it became student accommodation.

There is quite a bit about the old station on the web. These articles come from the New Zealand Railways Magazine:

The Development of Auckland's New Station (1 June 1927)

Auckland's New Railway Station - the Northern Portal of the N.Z.R. (1 October 1927)

Auckland's New Railway Station - A Masterpiece of Modern Building (1 July 1930)

Auckland's New Station - A Modern and Stately Railway Terminal (1 February 1931)

Sixty-seven years of Railway Progress - Brief History of Railway Development at Auckland
(1 May 1931)

Below, some more of my friend's photos.

It's a bit like seeing a part of a ghost town, these photos. Hardly a person to be seen.

Ah -- there's someone. Waiting patiently either for a train or a ride to elsewhere by car, I imagine.

Someone else waiting in the near distance.

At back, towards the harbour, the present-day rail line swings past part of the Strand rail area, with the Port of Auckland wharves and their cranes towering in the background. Amidst all this, I thought I spotted something, and took a shot.

Checking later, I realised I had spotted something -- a steam train powering along a painted set of lines, past Rangitoto. A solitary piece of railway art starting to be covered by the graffiti artists, whose handiwork is clearly visible all around it.


  1. Wow, what differences in architecture through the years!
    Love the old Glen Eden station, of course, and the beautiful tiles in the student accom are lovely, too :)
    Must have been snooping on your thoughts as I took a few snaps of a nearby train station yesterday to show the original architecture, etc, ;)
    Glen Eden-style station is similar to some of our stations, probably same era I'd imagine.

  2. Love the old photos. Thank you for sharing them with us. Such a different place now.

    Shame that nice artwork will probably end up covered in graffiti.

    Happy birthday for today :)

  3. Cheers to both of you -- and thanks for the birthday greetings, Leechie!

    I'm hoping that whoever's been busy painting these semi-hidden little bits of railway art has coated them as well. Probably not. I'll keep an eye on it, when I can, to see how that little train fares.

  4. Have just found these old photos of the Auckland Railway Station, so grateful to you for these posts. I still have some of those old tiles from the station walls & it was nice to see them in their original context.

  5. Very interesting. I was just researching a relative who I found out died during the construction of one of the buildings for the Auckland Station. He died in October 1927, falling 40 feet from a girder on to a pile of wood.

  6. Gee its really sad to see the demise of Auckland Station , but thank you so much for these pictures , a trip down memory lane .