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More Progress On Rail Upgrade


MEDIA RELEASE
6 October 2003

More Progress On Rail Upgrade

Joint Statement by Auckland Regional Council, Auckland Regional Transport Network Limited and Infrastructure Auckland

The next phase of the Auckland Rail Upgrade Project is now underway with progress on basic station improvements, construction of three “signature stations”, improved lighting and security and “de-stressing” of the tracks to minimise delays over summer.

Strong progress is being made on these projects and the agencies involved are now preparing service specification, funding and implementation packages for the next phase of the work.

The priority for the rail project work is a co-ordinated funding package that enables the next phase of work to be completed.

The Chairs of the sponsor organisations, Gwen Bull, Chairperson of the Auckland Regional Council (ARC), Ross Keenan, Chairman of Auckland Regional Transport Network Limited (ARTNL) and John Robertson, Chairman Infrastructure Auckland (IA) are now meeting regularly to ensure progress.

“If a comprehensive upgrade is to be achieved and maintained over time,” says Gwen Bull, “full cooperation from all agencies involved is crucial at the planning stage.”

The Auckland Rail Upgrade Business Plan has been endorsed by the local authorities of the Auckland region and the ARC. It sets out in broad terms the key features of a rail upgrade that will see patronage increase from 2.5 million trips in 2003 to more than 20 million by 2015.

Ross Keenan says that there is no time to lose on implementing this much needed upgrade to the rail network. “Work on electrification of the network, double-tracking of the western line and upgrades to stations must begin as soon as possible to boost rail patronage.”

John Robertson says delivery is a priority, “We will be working closely with each other to make sure the rail project is delivered to the people of Auckland in accordance with a strict timetable.”

Ends

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