Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand, and has a population of approximately 1 million residents in the Greater Auckland Metropolitain area. For a city of this size and its status as the largest metro area and the hub of financial activity in the country, one would think that the city would have a reasonable transit system. Unfortunately for Auckland nothing could be further than the truth. Until the late 1970's the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) operated a comprehensive service of both Trolley and Diesel Buses. At the end of that decade things were looking promising with new Trolleybuses on order and talk of electrifying the North Island Main Trunk (NIMT) from Auckland right through to Paraparaumu on the outskirts of Wellington. Suburban Trains at that time (and also through until 1993) comprised of diesel loco's hauling a number of cars similar to the A/AO cars that still operate on long distance trains in New Zealand. Electrification of all the NIMT would have had the added bonus of suburban electric train service for Auckland.

However, the decision was soon made to abandon plans for a new trolleybus system, with vehicles already under construction diverted to Wellington. The North Island Main Trunk was electrified in the 1980's, however only between Hamilton & Palmerston North. In the early 1990's government regulation in New Zealand required all local governments to be seperate from public transport opertion and the ARC moved to contract out the bus service to 'The Yellow Bus Company'. In 1993, in an attempt to save suburban rail services from an almost certain death the New Zealand Railway's CityRail division chose to purchase the Perth DMU fleet of ADB/ADK & ADC/ADL cars made surplus by the electrification of the Perth Suburban Network. In the same year legislation was passed by the NZ Government which made for the sale of New Zealand Railways to the US Wisconsin Central Railroad, and NZR became known as TranzRail with its urban division of TranzMetro (which also operates the Wellington Electric Service).

In 1998 the Yellow Bus Company was acquired by the British Stagecoach company, and at around the same time the non CBD located 1930's built Auckland Railway Station buildings were sold to the near by University of Auckland for use as dormitory accomodation, leaving just the platforms and a demountable building serving as the booking office serving as the central railway station of New Zeland's largest city. The Auckland rail network has suffered as a result of government indecisiveness for decades and the lack of a CBD station to bring commuters to the centre of the city. The long awaited Britomart Place redevelopment was officially opened on July 25 2003. The Britomart terminal comprises and underground rail and bus interchange combined with the usual shopping mezzanine areas. Ironically it has been built on the site of the first Auckland Railway Station. Buses and Trains have commenced service to the new station. Recently with the change of government in New Zealand a change of attitude has seen governments again becoming more interested in the operation and management of their transport networks. The situation in Auckland surely cannot get any worse than in the dark days of the mid 1990's.

The network today comprises of 3 rail lines using the ex Perth DMU's. Routes are to Waitakere, Papakura via Newmarket & Papakura via Glen Innes. The bus network is relatively large and the longest routes are opertated to Orewa on the Hibiscus Coast, approximately 50 kms North of Auckland. Regularly updated transit information for Auckland services can be found on the ARC's Rideline website.

Auckland's transport problems are so severe that The New Zealand Herald has a feature section of their web page titled Getting Auckland Moving, where you can follow the drama of Auckland transport with their regular reports on the city's pathetic transport infrastructure.

Photo Gallery

TrainsADB 682 trails a 2 car set heading for Auckland through Middlemore. 07/10/1999.
ADB 683 waits for its next departure from Auckland Station. 06/10/1999.
A four car set of ADB/ADK railcars is stabled at Papakura. 05/10/1999.
ADB 690 awaiting departure at Papakura for Auclkand via Glen Innes. 05/10/1999.
A four car set of ADC/ADL railcars laying over at Auckland Station. 06/10/1999.
ADC 809 is seen arriving at Auckland from Newmarket. 05/10/1999.
ADC 809 is now waiting for its departure from Auckland for Waitakere. 06/10/1999.
ADK 771 at the rear of a 2 car set arriving at Auckland. 04/10/1999.
ADK 778 waits for departure from Papakura. 05/10/1999.
ADK 780 about to terminate at Papakura. 05/10/1999.
ADL 851 is stabled with another ADC/ADL set at Auckland Station. 06/10/1999.
ADL 851 seen again waiting to depart for Waitakere. 05/10/1999.
Overhauled ADL857 is seen at Newmarket Station. ??/??/2003.
© Geoff Blackmore
ADL 859 has just arrived at Auckland. 07/10/1999.
An overhauled ADC/ADL set shown at the new Britomart Rail Terminal in Central Auckland. ??/??/2003.
© Geoff Blackmore
Buses 1109 is an MAN NL-243, seen laying over at the Central Auckland Interchange. This is the site of the new Britomart Place Bus/Rail Interchange. 06/10/1999.
Another view of 1109 at the same location as above. 06/10/1999.
The driver of MAN 1115 takes a break at Britomart Interchange in January 1994.
MAN 1128 is seen unloading on Customs Street, Auckland. 06/10/1999.
Mercedez-Benz O305 1436 is on Queen St Central Auckland. 01/1994.
Mercedez-Benz O305 1448 is at the former Britomart Bus Interchange. 01/1994.
Mercedez-Benz O305 1500 is on Queen St Central Auckland. 01/1994.
Mercedez-Benz O305 1566 is turning from Customs to Albert Street, Auckland. 05/10/1999.
MAN SL200 1605 is at the North Shore suburb of Takapuna. 05/10/1999.
MAN SL200 1616 is at the Central Auckland Bus Interchange. 06/10/1999.
MAN SL200 1645 is heading westbound Customs Street Auckland. 06/10/1999.
MAN SL200 1657 is on Customs Street Auckland. 01/1994.
1701 is a MAN SL202 seen laying over at the Central Auckland Interchange. 06/10/1999.
MAN SL202 1745 is on Customs Street Auckland. 01/1994.
MAN SG240 2029 is laying over at Orewa on the Hibiscus Coast north of Auckland. 05/10/1999.

Page last updated 24/08/2007, © 1999-2007 Anthony Leith