Onehunga unlikely home for old station

A bid to bring Newmarket’s historic railway station to Onehunga looks unlikely to find support with transport authorities.

The 100-year-old station was last week being cut into pieces to put in storage until a new site is found.

Onehunga resident Isaac Broome says it would fit well with the suburb’s existing heritage buildings.

"It just seems ideal that it would go to Onehunga," he says.

"Onehunga needs a station."

He says a potential site identified in Parnell would leave the building vulnerable to tagging and vandalism.

"In Onehunga it would be next to a busy arterial route and be in full public view," he says.

"And it would be being used as a proper station and serving a practical purpose."

The Newmarket station, designed by architect George Troup, has been removed as part of major station upgrade work.

Onehunga will have a new station by December 2009, when the branch line from Penrose is reopened.

A potential site on Onehunga Mall was recently purchased by Auckland Regional Council.

Transport committee chairwoman Christine Rose says Onehunga has been informally discussed as an option for the Newmarket building.

But Parnell is still the preferred location.

"The feedback has been that it would give more respect to the station to retain it as close to its original site as possible," she says.

"There are viable alternatives, and we’re not under pressure to go out and find a site so it’s lost to the public."

She says Onehunga also has potential for a mixed-use development with commercial premises.

The Auckland Regional Transport Authority says a decision will be made on the Newmarket station this year.

Spokeswoman Sharon Hunter says the key focus is retaining the building within a working rail corridor.

East And Bays Courier