Route for Auckland city rail loop released
Tue, 03 Jul 2012 1:32p.m.
By Tom Mcrae and 3 News online staff
Auckland Transport has today identified a route for the central city rail loop, with 210 properties earmarked for purchase by the council.
The central Government gave permission for the local council to begin planning the route – but is yet to commit to funding.
The rail loop is estimated to cost $2.86 billion and will link Britomart with Mt Eden using twin 3.5km rail tunnels, built up to 45m below the city.
Officials aim to make Britomart a through station by adding three new downtown rail stations, which would boost the frequency and speed of trains through the network.
Auckland mayor Len Brown hopes the Government will pay for half of the cost, and the council is considering selling non-strategic assets to raise funds.
Mr Brown told the New Zealand Herald the route layout was a big step for the major public transport project.
"The City Rail Link won't just provide a convenient train line below the city centre. It will unleash the potential of the entire suburban rail network, increasing frequency, reliability, and speed of trains across all of Auckland."
Auckland Transport chief executive David Warburton says the project will benefit the whole city.
“I think we really need to emphasise that this is not a CBD loop per se,” he says. “It’s not just about going around the centre city. It is about the city being linked to the rest of Auckland.”
“The city rail link will allow people from New Lynn or Henderson to get into the city in half the time they’re currently travelling so it will open the city up to a far bigger catchment of people coming into the city.”
Auckland Transport began contacting landowners who could be affected by the plans yesterday.
“We've started the process of talking to land owners as we move into the formal route protection process. There is no construction being done until there is some agreement around how that will be funded both with council and the crown,” says Mr Warburton.
The biggest change will be Auckland’s Downtown Shopping Centre, which would have to be demolished for construction.
Gerry Brownlee, the Transport Minister, is overseas but said in a statement the Government supports the step of securing the land but at this stage will not commit to putting any taxpayers money towards the $2.8 billion project.
But Mr Warburton says investment in the project is crucial.
“If no money was spent on this and the city continued to grow at its current rates we would get complete congestion. It would be gridlocked,” says Mr Warburton.
If funding is secured, the project is due to be completed in 2021 with construction beginning in 2015.
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4/07/2012 8:21:31 a.m.
Fair NZer wrote:
This rail networks will only be effective provided enough car parks are built at and around all train stations....
3/07/2012 5:26:58 p.m.
How about some more trains to pukekohe first. We are part of the city now.
3/07/2012 2:57:11 p.m.
Dont see why downtown shopping needs to be demonished - surely the stations will be underground
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