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Rail vision up for discussion


Rail vision up for discussion

Auckland Regional Council and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority met today to discuss the future of Auckland’s rail network.

Today’s workshop offered ARC councillors the first opportunity to be briefed on ARTA’s plans and recommendations for the long-term development of the rail network, including the option to electrify.

It is envisaged that this will be the first in a series of discussions between the ARC and ARTA, as the two organisations work together on the issues that arise out of ARTA’s proposal.

ARTA Board Chair Brian Roche says that joining together for today’s workshop was the first step for both the ARC and ARTA in a project with great significance for the region.

“ARTA understands that it is important for ARC councillors to have an early opportunity to enhance their understanding of the project’s scope,” says Mr Roche.

“The scale of development that the proposed rail upgrade would require is large and would likely span the next 20-30 years. In its role as a regional strategic planner, and as ARTA’s owner and funder, the ARC is a critical decision-maker in this planning process,” he says.

ARC Chairman Michael Lee says that a decision of this magnitude requires rigorous scrutiny and must be based on comprehensive technical and financial information. He welcomes the opportunity to advance these investigations alongside ARTA, including consultation with central government – also a key participant.

“We must consider the funding implications of this proposal for the ARC in both the short and long-term, and what this means for the purchase of new trains,” he says.

“The ARC group still has some work to do before a final decision can be made – probably the most important decision for the Auckland region for some considerable time.”

ENDS


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