The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]
It is customary to speak of the railway communication of Auckland in terms the reverse of complimentary; but this habit has arisen more from the fact that there is no connection with the railways of other provinces, than from any inherent deficiencies in the service as it affects the City and district.
Three trains run daily each way on the Auckland-Helensville line during the week, and on Sunday an afternoon train is run as far as Waikumete, the nearest station to the new cemetery, for the convenience of those who may wish to visit the graves of their friends.
Between Auckland and Onehunga about a dozen trains run each way on week days and four on Sundays. The stations between the City and Otahuhu are served with eight or more trains each way daily; Mercer with four or five; Frankton Junction, two trains on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and three on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; Te Awamutu, one train daily, which on Mondays and Thursdays continues to Te Kuiti. Cambridge is connected with Frankton Junction, and, therefore with the City, by one train daily. The Thames is connected with the same Junction by one train on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and by two on the other week days; and one train runs daily between Frankton Junction and Rotorua.
The speed is not excessive by any means, the journey to the Thames (148 miles) occupying by express nearly eight hours; but Rotorua (171 miles) is reached in eight hours and forty minutes. Cambridge (101 miles) is reached in about six hours; and Mercer (43 miles) in two hours.
To compete the more successfully with water traffic, the return tickets between the Thames and Auckland for the full journey are issued at the same prices as the single tickets.
Auckland has but one railway station, and the lines north and south join at Newmarket, between two and three miles from the City. But the station is a really good one, and befits the dignity of a city like Auckland. The station buildings are of pressed brick and very handsome, and the platforms are spacious and well kept. In fact the convenience of passengers has been studied with advantage to all concerned. Three large hotels, the wharves, and the jetties of the Northern Steamship Company and the Devonport Steam Ferry Company, are all literally within a stone's cast of the platform. All the trams and nearly all the 'buses of the suburbs start on the approach to the main wharf from the principal entrance to the railway station. A more convenient site for the railway station it page 60 would be impossible to suggest; and in this matter Auckland has a most agreeable advantage over the other large cities, especially Wellington and Christchurch, where most strenuous efforts seem to have been made in the intrest of confusion and cabmen.