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Low Cost Train Proposal A Winner

Low Cost Train Proposal A Winner

University of Waikato research commissioned by The Rail Opportunity Network (TRON) shows a return journey from Hamilton to Britomart in Auckland by train would cost as little as $25 return if the Government and Local Authorities supported it.

The report released on Friday, has been prepared by the Institute for Business Research at the University of Waikato.

“This shows a commuter train is cost-effective between the two cities,” said TRON Chair Rob Weir. “We expect transport will be the subject of negotiations to form the new Government and this project uses current infrastructure to address congestion, road safety, environmental impacts and productivity.”

The costed proposal involves changing trains in South Auckland and would take around 2 hours to Britomart through peak-hour traffic, a journey that often takes three hours or more by car.

The report suggests a service departing Hamilton at 6am and arriving at Britomart by 8.08am, stopping at Eastern Line stations along the way, followed up with a service departing Hamilton at 6.30am and arriving 8.48am.

The first service would start from Frankton, and pick passenger up from The Base, and Tuakau before reaching the South Auckland station connecting to the Eastern Line. The second service would also pick passengers up from Huntly.

“The finer details can always be adjusted, but we wanted to put up a viable option so decision-makers could see just how practical and affordable a commuter train is,” said Susan Trodden, Media spokesperson for TRON.

A funding commitment of just $630,000 from Government and the same amount split between the participating local authorities is affordable and can diminish as demand grows for the service. The operational costings are based on 200 passengers per day, and a recent survey cited by the Institute of Business research shows patronage may well exceed that.

“Preventing just one road death or serious injury would easily pay for the funding required, never mind the value of improving people’s lives, which is priceless,” she added.

TRON is proposing that this low-cost service be established forthwith and that once demand is established , that a full business case can be pursued for fast rail between the two cities.

© Scoop Media

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