The Art of Industrial Design

Gifford Jackson and the Auckland Rapid Transit scheme

Discover just how close Auckland came to a world-class integrated public transport system in the 1970s. This exhibition, in the Walsh Memorial Library, tells the story of the Auckland Rapid Transit (ART) scheme through vivid illustrations by New Zealand’s ‘godfather’ of industrial design, Gifford Jackson.

Jackson was employed to develop concept drawings of the interior and exterior design of the ART locomotives and carriages. The ART project brought together a team of engineers, town planners and others to plan a rapid rail system – nicknamed ‘Robbie’s Rapid Rail’ after its staunchest supporter, Mayor Sir Dove-Myer Robinson. The ART system never eventuated, with the plans shelved in 1975 following a change in government. 

More than forty years after the ART scheme was abandoned, works are now underway for the completion of Auckland’s first underground rail network – the City Rail Link.

The museum would like to acknowledge MOTAT volunteer Richard Croker for his generosity in donating the artworks. This is the first time an original rendering has been on display since Jackson created the works in 1974. 

The Walsh Memorial Library is located at MOTAT 1 on Great North road. Open hours are Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. Normal MOTAT admission fees apply.







Image: Gifford Jackson. (July 1974). Auckland Rapid Transit: Concept for train 124 and passenger platform. Richard Croker Collection, ART-2017-8.6. Walsh Memorial Library, Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT)