City Rail Link
KRD_MercuryS_Night_Rev1_web.jpg

Karangahape train station

Stations - Karangahape

 

Rail is coming uptown to Mercury Lane - just off Karangahape Road. This new station Karangahape Station will be the deepest at 30 metres deep.

The underground platforms will go as far as Beresford Square where there could be another entrance at some future time.

The Karangahape Station will be great for the area. The redevelopment will unlock additional high-density residential capacity and generate urban renewal within the inner-city fringe catchment. This will provide housing stock to help reduce Auckland's housing shortage over time.

The name ‘Karangahape Road’ stems from ‘Te Karanga a Hape’, the welcoming call of Hape who according to Te Wai o Hua arrived on a stingray prior to the Tainui waka and welcomed his relatives to Tamaki.

As it was a travel route used by the pre-European Maori, Karangahape Road is an older thoroughfare than Queen Street, which was developed by Europeans in the 1840s. The Karangahape ridge and valley to the South was a rural area outside the town of Auckland until well into the 1860s.

Mercury Lane will provide the entranceway to the uptown station. 


How it looks today

TODAY: Looking north from Ian McKinnon Drive across the Southern Motorway towards Canada Street (left to right, centre) and Mercury Lane (centre). The Mercury Plaza will be demolished so that construction vehicles and equipment could be placed there. After CRL is finished, a new development can be built there. (Photo: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1407-127)

TODAY: Looking north from Ian McKinnon Drive across the Southern Motorway towards Canada Street (left to right, centre) and Mercury Lane (centre). The Mercury Plaza will be demolished so that construction vehicles and equipment could be placed there. After CRL is finished, a new development can be built there. (Photo: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1407-127)

MERCURY LANE: The Mercury Theatre is on the left (Photo: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1407-133). The theatre, originally called The King's Theatre, was opened in 1910 as the country's first purpose built picture and performing arts theatre. 

MERCURY LANE: The Mercury Theatre is on the left (Photo: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1407-133). The theatre, originally called The King's Theatre, was opened in 1910 as the country's first purpose built picture and performing arts theatre. 


Pre-preparation work begins

 
THE UNDERWORLD: We never know what we will find so we have to do potholing and work out what utility lines are underneath before we start digging. This investigative mission in June 2017 was in Pitt St. The big work in K Rd won't start before 2019.

THE UNDERWORLD: We never know what we will find so we have to do potholing and work out what utility lines are underneath before we start digging. This investigative mission in June 2017 was in Pitt St. The big work in K Rd won't start before 2019.

 

The station plan

FUTURE: Where the station will go

FUTURE: Where the station will go


How the station could look - latest concept drawings

Karangahape Road train station City Rail Link (CRL)
Karangahape Road train station City Rail Link (CRL)
K Rd Mercury lane with seats.jpg
PLATFORM VIEW: Catching a train at Mercury Lane

PLATFORM VIEW: Catching a train at Mercury Lane


Area History

The Karangahape ridge and the valley to the south was a rural area outside the town of Auckland until well in to the 1860s.

However, the elevated north facing slope attracted wealthy settlers who built substantial houses - the first Government House was built on this ridge.

The Maori track along the ridge was the main route to the north and was developed into a road joining Great North Road. It was this traffic that attracted shops and other business to the crossroad of Pitt Street, Karangahape Road and Mercury Lane. This area, outside the main settlement but close enough to the centre of the city, was ideal for large sections to be allocated by the Crown to religious groups. Some still remain in the area today such as the Wesleyan or Methodist Church (1866), on the Pitt Street corner and the beautiful Hopetoun Alpha in Beresford Square, built by the Congregationalist Church in 1875.

1870s: Looking west north west from Partington's Windmill, showing part of Karangahape Road (extreme left, distance), the Naval Hotel behind (left), Pitt Street Methodist Church (left distance), Liverpool Street (foreground), Queen Street, (centre obscured), Myers Park area (centre), St James Church and Greys Avenue (right distance) (Photo: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 29-ALBUM-100-1)

In 1882 this area became part of Auckland City and over the following four decades Karangahape Road became a significant shopping area. The replacement of horse drawn trams by electric trams in 1902 added to the attractiveness of the area for shopping and brought people from outlying areas. Virtually all the tram lines from the outer boroughs travelled the Symonds Street or Karangahape Road routes.

TRAMS ARRIVE: This is how the street looked in 1906 - looking east along Karangahape Road, towards Pitt Street. Showing the premises of Mrs R Campbell, ladies outfitter, W F Jamieson, hairdresser, Foresters Hall, Naval and Family Hotel, Tatterfield and Company, importers in Pitt Street buildings (left of centre), J A Bradstreet, draper (right), a tram and horse drawn carts in the street (Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 7-A4725)


Post-WW1

After WW1, Karangahape Road developed a more sophisticated reputation as larger specialist stores appeared, supplementing the smaller shops that still supplied the local population. The Naval and Family Hotel on the corner of Pitt Street dates from 1897, although there is evidence that a hotel was on this site in 1865. The department store, George Courts, opened in 1914 on the corner of Karangahape Road and Mercury Lane.

GEORGE COURTS:  Karangahape Road in the 1920s with the station masts of radio 1YA (these days part of RNZ National) on top of George Courts (Photo: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 7-A14596)

The Karangahape Road area also became a centre of entertainment. Mercury Theatre was built in 1910 and in the 1920s cinemas and dance halls were popular.

The Kings Theatre, which became the Mercury, in 1920 (Photo: Auckland War Memorial Museum collection)

^ back to top

In the latter half of the twentieth century red light businesses were attracted to the area.

The Auckland City Fire Station was built on the corner of Grey and Pitt Streets in 1901 on a site formerly occupied by the Lennox family home.

FIRE STATION;  At the start of the century, Auckland's new central fire brigade station opened in Pitt Street (Photo: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19020710-8-4 )

FIRE STATION;  At the start of the century, Auckland's new central fire brigade station opened in Pitt Street (Photo: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19020710-8-4 )

The St John Ambulance Station across the road was begun in the same year as part of the Fire Station complex. It was built in stages with the Beresford Street building erected in 1912. Designed for horse drawn fire engines, it enclosed a central courtyard with a large arched entrance. The tower was intended as a lookout over the city and for drying hoses. The Beresford building was converted to private dwellings in the 1990s.

1951: Busy Karangahape Road (Photo: Karangahape Road, Auckland. Whites Aviation Ltd :Photographs. Ref: WA-28933-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand /records/22830078) 

1951: Busy Karangahape Road (Photo: Karangahape Road, Auckland. Whites Aviation Ltd :Photographs. Ref: WA-28933-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand /records/22830078) 


Diversity

Indian and Chinese traders have always had business in the area. Further diversity of the population occurred in the 1960s and 1970s with the arrival of Pacific people in New Zealand. Many settled in the Ponsonby and Karangahape Road areas. Shops and other businesses selling island produce and clothing were set up to cater to this community. The Polynesian population replaced working class families who had left for the suburbs.

TROLLEY BUSES:  Trolley buses in Karangahape Road in 1973

SHOPPING PRECINCT: Karangahape Rd in 1969. Stores included electrical dealer Lamphouse, Auckland Savings Bank, J Steele Limited, Barker and Pollock Limited, George Courts Limited and Rendells department store (Photo: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 7-A4265)

The department stores and other large businesses that dominated the street gradually relocated to suburban hubs or disappeared. 

The Newton end of Karangahape Road was cut off by the motorway excavation which removed an entire block of shops.

PRE-MOTORWAY: A 1962 aerial view over the Beresford Street/Pitt Street area, showing the area now occupied by the Northern Motorway, Karangahape Road, bottom right, Pitt Street, diagonally top right, Beresford Street, left to right across centre, Day Street, bottom left, Greys Avenue, top right, and St James Street, left (Photo: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 580-10453)

1964 VIEW:  Looking north over part of Symonds Street Cemetery, now partly occupied by the Northern Motorway, showing Upper Queen Street, (vertically centre left), Queen Street (top centre), Karangahape Road, left to right (top), Alex Evans Street (formerly East Street), (bottom), with St Benedicts Church (foreground) (Photo: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 580-10446)

The overbridge disrupts the continuous range of retail shop fronts that previously lined Karangahape Road unbroken from Symonds Street to Ponsonby Road.

^ back to top


Trams were part of Karangahape Road

Trams used to take passengers from Karangahape Road to Wellesley Street.

1920s K RD: Looking east from vicinity of bend opposite East Street down Karangahape Road, showing premises of Rendells Limited, George Court and Sons Limited, Hallenstein Brothers Limited, Sanford Limited, A S J Lamb, J A Bradstreet and J A Starmont and Sons. Also showing people hopping on tram headed for Wellesley Street (Photo: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1-W380)

1920s K RD: Looking east from vicinity of bend opposite East Street down Karangahape Road, showing premises of Rendells Limited, George Court and Sons Limited, Hallenstein Brothers Limited, Sanford Limited, A S J Lamb, J A Bradstreet and J A Starmont and Sons. Also showing people hopping on tram headed for Wellesley Street (Photo: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1-W380)

This is film of trams in 1949 around the Karangahape Road and Queen Street intersection and the Baptist Tabernacle.


Read about the other stations