Trains ready for 14,500 people to travel to Eden Park test

By Mathew Dearnaley

Director Bruce Barnard says the system will work. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Director Bruce Barnard says the system will work. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Trains running from Britomart for Saturday's Bledisloe Cup rugby test are expected to carry almost 50 per cent more people than to any other event yet held at Eden Park.

A 50,000-plus crowd predicted for the New Zealand-Australia international will provide the final big rehearsal of almost two years of transport planning for the Rugby World Cup.

Although there are likely to be some empty seats in the 60,000-seat stadium this weekend, Auckland Transport and rail operator Veolia expect up to 14,500 fans to travel free from Britomart to Kingsland Station by train.

That compares with about 10,000 for their previous largest mission, when two rugby league tests were played in one event at Eden Park in November, and will give the rail system almost as big a challenge as the Rugby World Cup finals.

A further 2500 fans are expected to catch trains from western stations to Morningside Station, from where they will walk 600m to Eden Park or catch shuttles.

Rugby fans will be segregated from other passengers at Britomart from about 5pm on Saturday.

They will be coralled at the Queen St end of the station before catching trains to Eden Park.

Other passengers will be held at the opposite end of the station to prevent the platforms becoming overloaded.

Auckland Transport's Rugby World Cup transport director, Bruce Barnard, said yesterday such a system had worked well at large events he had managed in Melbourne such as the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Rugby trains will run every five minutes to Kingsland, stopping only at Grafton, from 4.37pm until 6.44pm.

Although extra trains may be available to cope with unexpected demand, Veolia Rugby Cup project manager Craig Inger said fans should plan to travel early to the match and not count on being able to leave Britomart after that time.

"We are trying to give people enough time to get to Kingsland, through gate checks and into the match," he said.

"If they all start turning up [at Britomart] an hour before, obviously we've only got a certain amount of trains - our big message is leave early and plan your trip."

For rugby rail, bus and ferry timetables, visit

- NZ Herald

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