Re: Auckland needs a transport vision…

Feb 26, 2018 by Keith Mexsom

Matt L’s post this morning at Greater Auckland, basically describing how ephemeral transport planning has been in recent times, reminds me that the concept of suburban railway extensions, in the form of what was first known as the ‘Town Hall Deviation’, then the ‘Morningside Deviation’, and now, the City Rail Link, has remained the plan for a great many years.

Indeed, as far back as 1860, a detachment of Royal Engineers proposed the construction of railway tunnels from a central station, near where the present Town Hall stands, to what was then known as Arch Hill Gulley – running one line north to the Kaipara and a second, south, through to Newmarket. However, it wasn’t until 1912 that such a project was seriously considered – when District Railway Engineer, Daniel Thomas McIntosh, “…conceived his great scheme when, one evening, he viewed the panorama from the roof promenade of the Cargen Hotel [now the Station Hotel, Beach Road].” (O’Hara 1927) “If recalled at all, Daniel McIntosh is notoriously remembered for his proposal to relocate Auckland’s Railway Station far from the City’s centre, at Beach Road. However, what is largely forgotten is that his vision, his great scheme, had also included a connecting tunnel to a second station near Upper Queen Street and a Northern Tunnel outlet to the Kaipara line.” (Mexsom 2016) Perhaps today’s transport planners could benefit from some time spent atop the Sky Tower.