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Rail funds welcome but electrification needed

20 December 2005

Auckland rail funds welcome but electrification needed

The Green Party welcomes the up-to-$600 million Government funding package for Auckland's rail network announced today, but is disappointed it doesn't include electrification, Auckland Transport Spokesperson Keith Locke says.

"Double-tracking the Western line, new signaling and platforms, including the Newmarket junction, are all good news.

"But it is disappointing this money doesn't cover electrification, which is both vital for a modern public transport system and the best option for reducing carbon emissions even further. Electrification needs a green light pretty urgently, so Auckland Regional Transport Authority can plan the purchase of electric rather than diesel rolling stock. I hope the funding for this can be found through Land Transport New Zealand.

"And while we support linking the southern rail corridor with Manukau's city centre, this should be built as part of a larger rail project running from the airport through Manukau City and Botany Downs to connect with the Eastern line.

"On Track will have to work closely with the ARTA to make sure that the new tracks are optimised for town centre development, for example by putting the rail underground at the New Lynn transport hub," Mr Locke says.

ENDS

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