Mayor Impressed With City Rail Link
Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown says he remains concerned about the final cost and timelines for the new City Rail Link (CRL) but says it will transform Auckland’s public transport system and reduce roading congestion when it finally opens.
Mayor Brown spent four hours being briefed and touring the project from Maungawhau/Mt Eden Station to Waitemata Station (Britomart) two weeks ago, and today released photographs from his visit.
“Ratepayers and taxpayers are making an enormous investment in an incredibly complex project, with a governance and management structure that I would not have chosen,” Mayor Brown said.
“Nevertheless, when finished, fitted out, fully tested, and supported by modernised lines, crossings, and stations throughout the region, CRL will deliver Auckland the world-class passenger train network that residents of and visitors to other large cities have taken for granted for generations.
“When all planned improvements to the network are finished in the years following the completion of the CRL itself, Aucklanders and our visitors will see a nine-carriage trains arriving at stations as frequently as once every two minutes, carrying up to 54,000 people an hour at peak times across the network.
“The CRL and the world-class regional rail network it will enable must be at the heart of the single, big, joined-up transport plan Auckland needs, linking cars, buses, trains, cycleways, the port, shipping, ferries – everything.”
City Rail Link Ltd (CRLL) has advised Mayor Brown that midtown Te Waihorotiu Station (Aotea) is also futureproofed for any rail across the Waitemata Harbour.
This means that should there be a new harbour crossing – tunnels or another bridge and any introduction of rail across the North Shore – it could be easily connected to the existing Auckland rail network without having to alter any part of the CRL tunnels or system.
The CRL structure also allows for the addition of another level or station underneath the Wellesley Street station box.
Central government and Auckland Council’s Project Delivery Agreement with CRLL Ltd required that the stations be designed to accommodate interchange demands.
As well as at Te Waihorotiu Station (Aotea) for the possible future North Shore line, the agreement requires an interchange between the West Line and Newmarket service at Maungawhau/Mt Eden Station and for potential intercity and terminating services at Waitemata Station (Britomart).
The Mayor says that maximising the benefits of CRL also requires the Avondale to Southdown route to remain available for dedicated heavy rail lines for both passenger and freight services.
“After decades of debate, billions of dollars and unacceptable delays, CRL is going to be a reality and we must not let the next shiny new idea stop us from getting the maximum benefits that it promises for our city, region and country,” Mayor Brown said.