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Central Government funding gives boost to passenger rail

Central Government funding for the Hamilton-Auckland passenger rail will give a big boost to rail-related infrastructure in the Waikato district.

Today the NZ Transport Agency Board has committed funding to implement the infrastructure needed to roll out the passenger rail service in June 2020.

This commitment means Waikato District Council can get on with upgrading the Huntly rail station.

Waikato District Council Chief Executive Gavin Ion says upgrading the Huntly railway station will be a major transformational opportunity for Huntly.

“Having the passenger train stop in Huntly will have huge potential for the future growth and development of the town. The opportunities presented by the proposed transport hub at the Huntly station and its future relationship with the Waikato Expressway will be something that Council will be further exploring through the Huntly and Surrounds Spatial Plan.

Mr Ion says this funding announcement is the first step towards getting a properly functioning passenger rail service going in the corridor.

“Council is committed to working with Government to explore future rail options that will link Te Kauwhata, Mercer, Pokeno and Tuakau into the Auckland network. We’re also working on implementation of the Hamilton-Waikato Metropolitan Mass Transit Plan which will better connect our communities. All of this will be dependent on on-going Government funding support,” Mr Ion says.

The passenger rail connection between Hamilton and Auckland is one of a number of priority projects of the Hamilton to Auckland Corridor Plan, a joint iwi-council-central government initiative.

More information about the service is available at waikatoregion.govt.nz/rail.

© Scoop Media

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