Peter’s post the other day highlighting the capacity of the rail network and why we need the CRL got me thinking that about how this critical piece of information is not only missing from Auckland transports marketing of the project but just how hard it is to get that message across to the general public. Part of the problem I find is that people don’t understand how the rail network can be at capacity given how many people it could potentially move so to explain the capacity issue to people you either need to talk to people about it in person or get people to read a few paragraphs about it. Both of those are difficult to do when there are so many people that need to be communicated to for a project like this and the waters also get muddied by electrification and the extra capacity that will deliver.
So how do we solve this, one thing I have been thinking about is a graph to show the capacity constraint that exists today and how it would be affected in the future by the various projects. These numbers won’t be 100% right but do give an indication as to the kind of capacity constraints we will have. The blue line is the rough capacity of the rail network at peak times in the peak direction while the red line is the number of trips using the network in the AM peak, the future AM peak numbers come from some of the work done for the CRL business case.
The first step in the blue line represents the change in capacity with electrification while the second step is the capacity of the network once the CRL is built, in reality that wouldn’t all come on stream straight away as it would depend on how many trains we had. It is also worth pointing out that some of those shown in the red line will be in the counter peak direction. While some of the numbers in here might need tweaking, the real general trend of the graph is what we are expecting to see and the point of this post is to show a different and perhaps easier way of explaining the capacity problem.
Are there other ways that people can think of that would be useful for AT to use to help to easily explain why the CRL is needed?