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NBA: Newmarket calls for patience

Media release Newmarket Business Association

Sunday 27 January 2008

Newmarket calls for patience with rail precinct closed this weekend

The 100-year-old Newmarket railway station has closed for the last time with ONTRACK staff and contractors working around the clock this weekend to install new track and signalling and open two new temporary platforms.

With the entire Newmarket rail precinct closed until Tuesday morning bus replacement services are being provided for commuters along the entire Western Line and on the Southern Line.

"This is the first time in living memory that the Newmarket rail junction has been closed for such a prolonged period - over 72 hours. However disruption will last well beyond that as commuters will have to use temporary platforms for up to two years and in some instances walk between the platforms," said Cameron Brewer, general manager of the Newmarket Business Association.

"We're asking commuters to be patient and to keep the faith because the end result will be fantastic and is long overdue. By 2010 Newmarket will have a brand new $25m central rail station and $50m junction which will make rail a really attractive transport option. This is something we've long lobbied for.

"This is Auckland region's most significant rail upgrade since the opening of Britomart in July 2003. The Newmarket station is the second busiest on Auckland’s rail network and of course it is a critical junction where the Western Line meets the Southern.

"The old Edwardian station closed forever on Friday night, along with Newmarket's historic signal box which for nearly a century housed a room of mechanical levers that a signalman would pull to move the tracks. The new junction will be fully computerised. However we're hopeful the old two-storey signal box will be relocated to a highly visible spot in Newmarket. As for the main rail station, that looks set to be moved into storage, with the originally mooted proposition of it being relocated to Parnell looking increasingly unlikely."

From Tuesday 29 January two temporary stations will be opened for those using the train in Newmarket – one at Kingdon St (Newmarket West) for those using the Western Line, and one on Remuera Rd (Newmarket South) for Southern Line services.

ENDS

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