One positive thing I have noticed recently is that Auckland Transport have started to improve the way they communicate the benefits of City Rail Link. I first noticed it at the announcement of the confirmed CRL route but it appears to be coming through in other channels too. Take part of this piece from the the Western Leader:

The capacity of West Auckland’s train system is set to double after the $2.56 billion City Rail Link is completed in 2021.

The plans released by Auckland Transport show the new route will join Britomart with Mt Eden before connecting to the western line.

Auckland Transport chief executive David Warburton says the project will benefit the whole city.

“The City Rail Link will allow people from New Lynn or Henderson to get into the city in half the time they are currently travelling so it will open the city up to a far bigger catchment of people coming into the city.

“I think we really need to emphasise that this is not a CBD loop per se.

“It’s not just about going around the centre city. It is about the city being linked to the rest of Auckland,” he says.

Here we have mention of capacity improvements, time savings, improved catchments and that it isn’t a loop with trains won’t go around in circles. With a project like the CRL it really is important for AT to get information out to the public in a way they can easily understand. While there is a lot more that they could do,  this is a good start so is really pleasing to see. By being clear with what the benefits are it will help to dispel some of the myths and get even more of the public behind the project. Many of the points they are starting to make have been mentioned on this site before so perhaps they have been taking notice 🙂

Keep it up AT and next we will hopefully see some visual explanation of the benefits like these images below. The size of the road arrows includes bus passengers. Red = motorways, blue = local roads, green = rail, yellow = ferries

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  1. Actually just noticed that the online version doesn’t include the table of costs…however it’s in the paper, broken out into construction, land purchases (net and gross), extra trains and other costs outside the CBD.

  2. Grrr… Fairfax need to improve their proofreading: “Labour’s spokesperson for transport Phil Twyford says the rail loop will bring Auckland into the 21st century.”

    It’s not a loop. It’s a link!

      1. Perhaps someone should ask Phil? It would be pretty dissapointing if he did hold such a misunderstanding of this project….

    1. To be fair, it is a loop (well, it will create a loop) and it not incorrect to call it one. It is politically incorrect though.

      1. It depends on the perspective you use to look at it. If you look at the CRL as a distinct railway line, it could be seen as an extension to the Newmarket Branch or the North Island Main Trunk. If you look at it as a line on a public transport network diagram, it may well look like a loop. If you use the railway terminology, it is not a railway loop, as a balloon loop is a section of track that allows a train to change direction without coming to a halt (and is usually localised to a distinct line – to perform a loop, the train would enter the Newmarket Branch from the North Auckland Line, enter the North Island Main Trunk, then enter the North Auckland Line again), or a loop line (which rejoins the branch line it left at another point, which it won’t, as it’ll technically start on the Newmarket Branch/NIMT and finish on the NAL.). The ‘loop’ idea also presumes that there will be an eastern exit of the rail link onto the NAL.

        But this is all just pedantry. The ‘loop’ idea must be eliminated so that individuals understand that trains from the west enter Britomart from the WEST, rather than head into Newmarket and enter Britomart from what will be the EAST.

      2. In that case the Eastern Line is a loop, as it the Upper Harbour Motorway etc. Perhaps a technically accurate name in one sense of the word, but a completely inaccurate way to describe how they will be used.

        1. Usage is key. It’s a lot of money to spend so people in K Road can catch a train to Newmarket which is what a very unhelpful TV3 animation suggested a few weeks back. There aren’t going to be ‘loop’ services as such, so ‘link’ is much more accurate in describing the key function of the tunnel.

        1. Wow. You have to wonder if anyone with minimal knowledge of political messaging actually signed that off – plenty of negative connotations about both the rail link and Labour’s level of economic nous all in one elegant little circle.

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