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The new, improved Ellerslie train station was officially opened today in central Auckland following an $8m upgrade involving the NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport and KiwiRail.
Auckland's Mayor Len Brown led the ribbon cutting celebration at the station this morning accompanied by executives from the NZTA, Auckland Transport and KiwiRail and the project's contractors.
Mr Brown says the upgrade of the 138-year-old station is focussed very much on Auckland's transport future.
"This is a timely upgrade for the Ellerslie Station, as we move towards electrification, new electric trains and a fully integrated transport network. Today marks another significant milestone on that journey," says Mr Brown.
The improved station is safer, more attractive and gives better access for mobility users and pedestrians. The work included reducing the existing platform by two metres, and shifting the rail tracks to give space for developments on the Southern Motorway (SH1). The rail overbridge has also been raised so that electric trains can pass underneath.
While the new station will benefit commuters immediately, the project lays the foundation for longer term improvements, says the NZTA's State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker.
"Shifting the station gives us the room to add extra capacity on the motorway between Ellerslie and Greenlane at a later date. Creating that space would have been more challenging once this section of the rail network had been electrified," Mr Parker says.
Auckland Transport Project Director for Rail Improvements, Nick Seymour, says the station has been modernised and the new shelter on the platform is a welcome protection from the weather. "You will know you have arrived at Ellerslie by the yellow platform lifts which have improved access for rail passengers and local residents," he says.
"We would like to thank the local community for their patience while works were underway particularly when the pedestrian bridge was out of action," says Mr Seymour.
The $8M project started last November. It was designed by GHD in partnership with URS and Jasmax to look similar to stations at Kingsland and Sylvia Park. It was constructed by Fulton Hogan and NZ Strong.
Features include two new yellow lifts, one giving access to Kalmia Street from the rail overbridge, and one giving direct access to the station platform. Facilities on the platform have been completely revamped with all new furniture including two new shelters to protect from wet weather. A new pedestrian bridge has been built and new stairs have replaced the old stone ramp. New rubbish bins, CCTV, PA system and a HOP ticketing machine have also been included.