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On Wednesday 10 April, we were lucky enough to invite our key sponsors for an exclusive dive underground with a visit to the Te Waihorotiu Station, part of the City Rail Link Alliance Project.

The new 15m-deep, 300m long underground mid-town station near Wellesley and Victoria Streets, is expected to be the country’s busiest train station. It’s also future-proofed for any potential government decision to create a North Shore rail line.

With entrances on Victoria Street and Wellesley Street, the station is close to the Aotea Centre, Auckland Town Hall, Q Theatre, Civic Theatre, SKYCITY, the Auckland Art Gallery and Central Library, for those coming into the city for a night out.
The ‘concourse’ of this station alone is the underground space that leads to the train platforms below. It spans 350m and is basically an underground street, where people can not only hop on the CRL, but also traverse to different areas around Wellesley and Victoria street under cover.

It was great to see the design coming to life. A design that reflects Mana Whenua with Māoritanga intrinsically woven throughout. Seven skylights representing the seven stars of Matariki, sandstone facades of Papatuanuku, and the kikorangi rainscreens of Ranganui. Not to mention the ongoing representation of the energy of Te Waihorotiu, the name that was gifted in recognition of the Waihorotiu stream and wetland system that flowed in close proximity to the station, past the Horotiu pā down to the Waitematā. This provided fresh water for iwi living nearby in the past.

Let’s not forget the phenomenal amount of cabling, 275km, so we were told, the incredible ventilation systems and arduous process required in digging out of the tunnels. With a predicted opening of 2026, the final testing of the train systems sounds eye watering enough, not to mention the whole coordination of our biggest public transport infrastructure project.

Thank you to Nicole Borland, Development Response Manager, and Diana Toki-Hu, Senior Communications and Engagement Advisor, from the City Rail Link Alliance project, for showing us through this incredible project. A huge thank you to Karl Beaufort, Head of Facility Services, at Auckland Unlimited, and a member of our Auckland branch committee for organising this exclusive tour. Judging by the number of cameras snapping away, I know our key sponsors were delighted to get inside this incredible project. They all looked fantastic in the visitor pink hard hats!