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Parnell station.JPEG

Parnell Railway Station Underpass


Auckland Transport




Luke Gordon, Chris Gilbert, Gareth Jackson, Talal El-Jack, Jericho Masigan, Brett Black


Parnell Railway Station is a station serving the inner-city suburb of Parnell in Auckland. The station was opened in 2017 and sits on the Newmarket Line, linking Auckland’s outer suburbs to the city centre.


As part of Auckland City’s commitment to improving access to sustainable transport options, Auckland Transport (AT) is seeking to improve pedestrian accessibility at the station by constructing a 4.0m wide pedestrian railway underpass linking that station’s two platforms.


The new underpass will lie directly to the north of the station, supplementing an existing underpass located further to the south. For this project, Riley is providing the civil and geotechnical engineering design as well as construction monitoring.


The station plays a vital role as a transport link so design and construction have had to be completed within tight timeframes.  

Given the works are occurring within a busy railway corridor, the underpass installation, backfilling, and reinstatement of the railway tracks was completed over a 3 week ‘block of line’ period.  A high level of coordination was needed between Riley, Auckland Transport, and the wider design and construction team, to deliver a design which could be completed in a short construction window.


The underpass was installed utilising a cut and cover method.  A 5.0m deep excavation was formed, the underpass culvert units were lowered into position and then tensioned together.


A series of bored concrete pile retaining walls will be installed to form an accessway down to the underpass in a top-down manner, and several drainage and service diversions were undertaken.

The underpass is expected to open in December 2023.

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