ATAP - Interim Report - AWHC

Back in May in this post, Matt highlighted the NZTA’s strategy of designating only for road tunnels across the Waitemata Harbour, leaving any rail designation up to Auckland Transport.  The NZTA have a total budget of $27m for the designation work, $14m million of which is an additional appropriation, approved under the delegated authority of the Chief Executive, to cover enlarged works at Esmonde Road and Victoria Park.   The work is proceeding even though the comparative Preliminary Business Case for a road only crossing calculated a BCR of 0.4.  The Western Ring route, which is designed to reduce pressure on the existing Harbour Bridge, is yet to open.

On the back of this I wrote to NZTA CEO Fergus Gammie pointing out that the NZTA’s governing legislation, the Land Transport Management Act (LTMA),  was not being complied with and therefore the route protection work currently underway should be placed on hold until a number of issues had been resolved.

NZTA have responded to the letter but, before we look at that, let’s take a quick look at the LTMA.

The LTMA was introduced by the Labour / Green government in 2003, and a ministerial press release at the time promised that it would “broaden the focus of the land transport system beyond just roads and represent a true multi-modal, integrated, approach to land transport.”

Since then the LTMA has been amended, but it still defines the objective of the NZTA to “undertake its functions in a way that contributes to an effective, efficient, and safe land transport system in the public interest.”

Key functions are:

  • to manage the State highway system, including planning, funding, design, supervision, construction, and maintenance and operations
  • determine whether particular activities should be included in a national land transport programme
  • approve activities or combinations of activities

The operating principles the NZTA must abide by include:

  • exhibiting a sense of social and environmental responsibility
  • using its revenue in a manner that seeks value for money
  • ensuring that it gives, when making decisions in respect of land transport planning and funding , the same level of scrutiny to its own proposed activities and combinations of activities as it would give to those proposed by approved organisations

When approving a proposed activity or combination of activities for funding, the NZTA must be satisfied that:

  • The activity is consistent with the GPS on land transport; and
  • is efficient and effective; and
  • contributes to the Agency’s objective; and
  • has been assessed against other land transport options and alternatives
  • relevant consultation requirements have been complied with

The NZTA must also take into account any national energy efficiency and conservation strategies, and act in accordance with its operating principles.

It should be clear from any reasonable interpretation of the law that any work on the Additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing does not qualify for payments from the National Land Transport Fund as most, if not all, of the above criteria have not been met. But let’s return to the NZTA’s response and see what they have to say.

Under the Land Transport Management Act heading, the NZTA claim:

response-LTMA

The NZTA claim that other land transport options (which aren’t limited to roads by the LTMA) have been assessed.  But what the NZTA neglect to say is that the 2008 Summary Report found that for passenger transport alone, passenger transport in a new tunnel or on a new bridge between Esmonde and Britomart was the best option. No comparative cost benefit analysis was done for a rail only vs a road crossing – it was just assumed by the report that a road crossing was also needed.

The NZTA claim that the additional crossing was consulted on as part of the Regional Land Transport Plan (PDF 5 Mb).  The RLTP contains a single line item for the Additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing, for which no discussion on the shape or form of the route protection was consulted on:

RLTP

The NZTA suggest “as the proposal is only to seek route protection at present, there is no need to include (or consult on) the construction of the crossing in the Regional Land Transport Plan”. I disagree.  Route protection defines the envelope of the project, and necessarily needs to cater for a chosen mode.  Right now on-going route protection work affects Victoria Park, Esmonde Rd and sensitive ecological areas. Exhaust stacks at Wynyard and Northcote or Esmonde Rd are included in the designation work because the chosen solution is a pair of three lane road tunnels, yet there has been no public consultation to date.  It is socially irresponsible and in bad faith for NZTA to leave consultation to the Board of Inquiry process.  The NZTA need to be getting feedback from the public and businesses now on the desired mode and how much road users would be willing to pay in tolls for the new crossing and also potentially the existing Harbour Bridge.

The NZTA don’t address the issue of efficiency or effectiveness in their response. Instead they rely on the fact that there will be a business case completed after the $27m budget for a road crossing designation has been spent. That business case will not examine whether a road crossing is required at all, because the decision has already been made.  The NZTA is clearly not using it’s revenue in a way that seeks value for money, nor has it adequately considered alternatives.

response-BCR

Even the Government Policy Statement appears to be disregarded by the NZTA in its pursuit of a road only crossing.   The GPS has the objective of mitigating the effects of land transport on the environment. The focus for Auckland is investment to maximise throughput of people and freight as Auckland grows, something the AWHC project which is dedicated to the movement of single occupant cars cannot achieve.

So what do you think? Is the NZTA following the law?

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106 comments

  1. No, but they can use heaps of our money to defend what they’re doing. The answer is political – get a good council elected this year and a good government next year.

    1. Unless a board of inquiry can stop them (as happened with the Basin Flyover), it appears that the government can just bulldoze through what it wants. Bodies such as AC/AT and NZTA seem to me to have been cajoled or bullied into falling-in-line with the govt’s agenda, even if elements within them think very differently.

      The only chance I see of getting NZTA back on track as the ‘national agency for thoroughly investigating all transport options’ is to get rid of the current roads-focussed government.

      1. Hopefully it will be different from Puhoi to Warkworth in a couple of areas, firstly (and with huge respect for the work you did on this personally) hopefully there will be a well funded and professionally represented campaign against this project. And secondly the BOI can’t ignore NZTA not following a legally prescribed course of action. The BOI isn’t likely to fall for ‘Yep, pretty sure we did’ in response to questioning on this.

  2. Two things:
    1) Yes the AWHC should be rail only for the time being.
    2) It is correct that NZTA should be designating a route (and protecting it) for a future road tunnel. A road tunnel isn’t needed now but perhaps in 25,30,40 years time it might be (probably will be due to the AHB clipons needing to be replaced at some point/the actual bridge needing to be replaced) so it would be prudent to protect this route (which they should be doing for rail corridors too). Doesn’t mean they should be spending truckloads of money doing so though.

    1. Yes, so designate for rail in such a way that it doesn’t preclude a road crossing in the future. In other words the reverse of what we’ve done to date in Auckland.

      Note in the Skypath hearings NZTA said “NZTA expects the clip-on lanes to have an indefinite service life (e.g. the next 100 years) providing heavy freight movements are transferred to a new harbour crossing at a certain load trigger point.”

  3. Can the council seek route protection for the rail tunnels (and Gaunt Street – rest of the network connection, and any north of Akoranga extensions) on its own? And what is the council doing about it?
    You wrote in May about the NZTA leaving the rail designation to Auckland Transport. Lets hope Auckland Transport is actively working on this

    1. > Can the council seek route protection for the rail tunnels (and Gaunt Street – rest of the network connection, and any north of Akoranga extensions) on its own?

      Yes. And as a bonus, if AT or AC lodge their notice of requirement first, they have priority over NZTA, and the road crossing would legally be required not to impede the rail tunnel.

      On the downside, the same works in reverse – if NZTA protect the route for a road-only crossing, it’s also protected *from* a rail crossing.

  4. Why haven’t the council designated rail routes around the city yet?
    If they’d had the airport route done, Kirkbride wouldn’t have been built in such a way as to make heavy rail to the airport prohibitively expensive.
    I could see the same thing happening now with the AWHC.

    1. I think you mean that you *can* see it happening. This designating week basically preclude rail ever happening.

  5. What a bunch of Nimby’s you lot are. The vast majority of NZ’s want a road tunnel – get over yourselves – the future of transportation is road based.

    1. The recent survey from Generation Zero suggested a measly 22% of respondents believed the AWHC should be road only. Far less than those who support both rail only or a rail/road combo.

      The future of transportation is roads? Get out of the 1960s!

    2. But they don’t Phil, you are just projecting your fringe beliefs onto the public at large.

      The polls have consistently shown that rail is far more popular than a road only tunnel. Yes Aucklanders clearly want skypath, yes they want rail to the Shore, but they are indifferent on a road crossing.

    3. I’m reasonably sure the vast majority of New Zealanders don’t want either! I’m not sure if you have traveled out of Auckland but most people I’ve come across aren’t the biggest fans of infrastructure spending in Auckland full-stop.

  6. I just hope that AT get their act together and are able to tack on the rail tunnel along with the new road crossing to save money. To those who are saying this should be a rail only tunnel, how does that make sense as we have now been told (by some on this blog) that the North shore rail can not link into the CRL (something that was one of the big selling points of the CRL only a few years ago) so why have a rail tunnel go from somewhere that can’t (apparently as stated on this blog) be linked into the existing rail network to a part of Auckland that doesn’t even have any rail? The first step for rail to the shore should be a link from the CRL to Akoranga Station before eventually continuing up the existing busway.

    1. Rail will most likely have to be in separate tunnels to road, so there won’t be in saving in “tacking on” to a road crossing. A road crossing will be incredibly expensive because of the diameter and the need to handle emergencies and stationary traffic within the tunnel – ventilation and exhaust stacks. A road crossing doesn’t stack up, so why build it at all?

      1. Cam by ‘tacking on’ I mean doing it at the same time, there will need be two road tunnels (one north and one south) then a third for rail. This requires that AT has it’s planning done by the time the road tunnels are built so the boring machine can do three trips instead of just two. The current bridge will not last without a new crossing so effectively wasting the money that will be spent on skypath, the last I’ve seen on this is that the current bridge will not feed traffic south of the CBD and the new crossing will bypass the city directly into the CMJ.

        1. Again I say a road crossing doesn’t stack up – economically or in terms of reducing vehicle congestion. Look at the modelling in the top illustration.

          A rail crossing should not be dependent on the road crossing being built at the same time, and I don’t think there is value in doing so compared with a pair (for safety) of rail tunnels the same diameter as the CRL.

          The current bridge will last indefinitely, and an alternative North-South motorway will open next year with the WRR, so I don’t follow your comment about the bridge not lasting.

          1. The clip-ons will not survive with the current workload, skypath is clipped on under the southbound clip-on so would end up being a waste.

    2. Ted, why would you want to put north shore trains into the CRL? The CRL will be busy enough taking care of it’s own trains, there won’t be any space for the North Shore. The schemes i’ve heard about take the southern line off at Newmaket or Parnell and run that via Aotea and Wynyard to the North Shore. Huge capacity improvements although certainly not a cheap scheme.

      As for the tunnels, there would be two for heavy rail alone, separate from any motorway tunnels. Train tunnels need be much smaller than motorway ones, they wouldn’t use the same TBM as the motorway as that would cost much more than using an appropriately sized one for rail.

      And all the schemes for the harbour crossing maintain the existing bridge, I don’t see how you can claim it won’t last when nobody has any plans for it not to be there indefinitely.

      1. Why would you not link any north shore rail into the existing network?
        Why would you bore two tunnels for rail when you only need one? The tunnels for three lanes of motorway would be about right for two lines of rail with all the extras including emergency escape facilities.
        The existing bridge remains but the last info I saw for the new crossing was that the bridge allows access to the CBD and Ponsonby but not further south.

          1. The expensive part of a TBM is the cutting face and they are generally engineered to last just long enough to complete a project. It’s much more cost effective to have two TBMs that are built for the specific size tunnels, than bore a tunnel that would have a significant amount of redundant space.

          2. Because the volume of one 12m diameter tunnel is double that of two 6m diameter tunnels. To do one tunnel instead of two you have to dig out literally twice as much dirt and rock. The question is why the hell would you do one huge expensive tunnel to do the job of two cheap small ones?

          3. Although if you were just doing one tunnel it wouldn’t need to be double the diameter of 2x smaller 6m tunnels….
            Why? Because to fit the proverbial square into a round hole a train tunnel needs to be 6m.
            A single larger tunnel however could work as follows:
            9m diameter tunnel would allow for a box of 6.15m2 (after reduction for tunnel lining).
            This is enough for 2x EMU side by side with or without a concrete/steel barrier between them.
            This would also allow for emergency escape routes/service tunnels down either side of the tunnel to be 1.2m wide each (after barrier between the box and the escape routes.

            A 9m diameter tunnel would have a surface area of 63m2 which compared to 2x 6m tunnels @28m2 each (56m2) isn’t much difference. When you look at the construction costs a 9m diameter tunnel has a circumference of 28.2m to be lined vs 2x 6m which would have 37.6m to be lined…that is a considerable difference in the amount of concrete needed….

            If money isn’t a consideration then 2x tunnels is better for sure, but in terms of bang for buck a single larger bore tunnel might be a better option (oh and it should be quicker – therefore cheaper to build too).

          4. “Why would you bore two tunnels when you could bore just one?”

            Because it’s significantly cheaper? I feel like a lot of people forget that a TBM is usually less than 2% of the cost of tunneling projects.

          5. @Sailor Boy, except when they aren’t… Yes a single huge tunnel will be more but you don’t need to build it that large. As I described a 9m diameter bore can fit the 2 train boxes in. It is not a case of 2x 6m bores or 1x 12m…. it is 2x 6m or 1x 9m. Sure a TBM might be 2% of the cost of a tunnel…. however by only needing one tunnel you can reduce the project cost by at least 1% (if not more). As also mentioned a 9m diameter tunnel requires A LOT less concrete than 2x 6m tunnels so that is a huge saving (concrete is one of the most expensive parts of the project…could easily be around 30,000m3 difference which when including the costs of reinforcing and manfacturing pre-cast sections would run into the millions. Then you have the costs of duplicating a lot of things in 2 tunnels which you wouldn’t have to do in a single tunnel).

        1. Erm, did you miss the part where I said the north shore links through to the southern line and massively increases capacity?

          Why two tunnels, because two small tunnels are far cheaper than one big one. Why do you want to spend more to get the same outcome?

    3. Bigted – I’m a bit lost with your logic that it can’t be rail only when the rail doesn’t connect directly to the CRL. Can you explain why this determines a road crossing is necessary?

      1. Why does a rail crossing that doesn’t link into the existing network across to an area with no rail whatsoever make sense?

        1. Bigted – you didn’t answer my question. But to answer yours, my understanding is that Aotea station is being future proofed for a North Shore platform underneath it at some point, this would be a pretty direct connection to the CRL as far as I can see.

          1. The clip-ons on the current bridge do not have an indefinite lifespan without taking some of the load off it.

          2. A rail crossing under the harbour that connects into the CBD, and allows transfers onto the rail network would have more than enough capacity to allow the bridge to go down to 6-lanes for a couple of years while the clip-ons are replaced.

          3. You are dreaming if you think just because there are trains coming from the shore that you can get ride of two lanes off the bridge.

          4. I’d say it would depend on how much of the 4 billion plus cost of a tunnel was loaded onto it’s users. If it was a fair amount then I would imagine that would be quite effective at focusing the users minds onto the value of using an alternative mode.

          5. Have you even read what you have written? You want to build a rail only tunnel then load the cost onto it’s users and somehow think that is going to encourage people out of the cars (and the freight will somehow magic itself into the shops you buy it from) and onto trains.

          6. Woops, it would appear not, got my wire crosses there! I was thinking of road charging, not lumping all the costs onto the PT users, not sure why then I mention the tunnel that I don’t think should be built! I would suspect that we will have some form of road charging by the time this becomes necessary. I also imagine there will be a significant drop in vehicles on the bridge soon after rail tunnels open, as there was after the busway opened. Combining these two factors, yes I believe the bridge could be maintained as viable for a couple of years to ensure the passage of high value traffic that is willing to pay the charge.

            The counter to this is spending an enormous amount of money on road tunnels just to give redundancy when the tolls to cover the cost of even half of this would likely be north of $10 a trip. I imagine once people become aware of this, having rail tunnels and the bridge at 6-lanes for a couple of years wouldn’t sound nearly as bad.

          7. @BigTed, have you taken a look at the busway patronage graphs? Even just a peek? You will notice that patronage is growing massively based on a separated busway and frequent services. At the current rate, we’ll run into capacity issues sooner than anyone involved with designing the busway ever imagined.

        2. It’s not just about the crossing. The price to build a rail only crossing and extend rail to Albany, is likely to be around half the price of the road crossing by itself.

          1. Don’t forget about all the shared works that would need to be done, something that would be lumped onto the rail only tunnels costs if there was no road component.
            By the way I have seen the patronage numbers for the busway, have you seen how many cars still come down the northern motorway the bulk do not go into the city and that will only get worse.

          2. Tunnel entry points and along the side of the northern motorway after it surfaces on the northshore side.

          3. They wouldn’t be shared anyway, they are going to different places. Motorway tunnels connect to motorway and rail tunnels would connect to busway/rail corridor. You would always have two sets of portals.

          4. Nick at roughly the same place and unless you are going to build either of the tunnels longer (at a considerable extra cost) than necessary they will surface far from the southern end of the busway.
            As long as whatever mode is built first allows for the other, NZTA are expecting to start the new crossing in the next 7 years and AT have said there will not be rail on the shore for at least 30.

  7. Why aren’t the future north shore trains going into the CRL? That was one of the main selling points wasn’t it? that it would be future proofed. Or would another new expensive tunnel be needed to by-pass the CRL. more lies and misinformation.

      1. Because urban passenger rail systems are not at all like motorways; users do not take a vehicle with them when they use a new route. Passengers change lines; not machines. This improves capacity and efficiency on each route, by enabling each line to focus on its core role. People will join the CRL from the Shore line but not trains.

        For example: Trains on the Jubilee Line do not switch to the Northern; but users do.

        Auckland, because it has a very small track network, already has too much interlining (different lines running on the same track), it does not need more. This limits the frequencies and capacity of each individual line.

          1. Nick as Patrick has said “Auckland, because it has a very small track network, already has too much interlining (different lines running on the same track), it does not need more.” so the option is given to remove one. Cuts down the number of trains per hour into Britomart and relieves the whole network.

          2. Bigted – post CRL the Onehunga line will be the other end of the Western Line for some services, there would be little gain in getting rid of it as these services would have to terminate somewhere (probably Newmarket) anyway. I agree it gets in the way at the moment but it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to close it, only to reopen it once the CRL is open.

          3. jezza, yes for “some services” but not anything that is a 6 car and still only 3 TPH, the rest appear to terminate at Newmarket anyway. Onehunga with its average pax per train in the low teens not only gets in the way it is a drain on the rest of the network.

          4. No reason the platforms can’t be lengthened.

            I disagree with it being a drain post CRL, if Onehunga was removed these services would still run through the parts of the network with the most train movements and would just require all services to terminate at Newmarket tying up valuable platform space and likely restricting movements. If anything Onehunga will be a pressure release once CRL opens.

            I also would have thought we would be expecting significant population growth in the Onehunga/Ellerslie area in the next 20 odd years, I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

          5. Ellerslie is on the southern line, Onehunga is just a pissy little branch line that costs far more to operate than the 13 or so (average) per train pay for their whole trip.

          6. I’m well aware of where Ellerslie is, my point was population growth may well further justify Onehunga services and also the increased frequency they would give through Ellerslie.

            My main point still stands, as I described above Onehunga will be more of a pressure release than an inconvenience once the CRL running pattern begins.

          7. Ted, as with much else it seems you misunderstand the value of the O-Line. It is intended to supplement frequency and capacity on the inner Southern, this is not a fault of the service as you (repeatedly) try to suggest. The midsection of the southern also gets all Eastern line trains, but these leave the Southern before Penrose so there is a service gap further in, leading to a lack of frequency and capacity there. The O-Line fills that need as well as extending the reach of the network a little.

            Certainly there are structural limitations to the OBL (train length, frequency limits, and level crossings) that will have to be sorted in the longer term, especially post CRL, but for now it serves a very handy function. And indeed one option is to close or convert it, but that certainly can’t happen until there are other options, such as more platforms at Otahuhu…

          8. Patrick so different lines running on the same tracks aren’t the problem you made them out to be in the earlier comment?

          9. Patrick also don’t forget the added costs of having extra rail lines or modes (eg LR) that are not linked into the existing network.

          10. Nick the wasteful spending involved in duplicating facilities because rail vehicles unlike buses that can be stored when out of service and maintained just about anywhere, rail vehicle require rails everywhere. So if you want to run a separated rail mode (LR) or even an unlinked similar mode (Northshore locked HR) you need to basically built another Wiri at the very least on or near every separate line line.

          11. But Wiri isn’t sitting there with empty pre-built capacity, if you built a north shore line you’d need to build extra stabling and some depot facilities regardless, probably on the north shore to avoid excessive opex. Even if you only built the stabling and save half the cost of a new Wiri, that’s $50m saved sure. But if you build light rail instead of heavy you save about two billion dollars on construction… So your attempt to save money by not building additional depot costs about $1.95 billion extra. Some saving!

          12. Nick take out the trains that are just stabled and send them to a different stabling facility and there is plenty of capacity at Wiri for maintenance and heavy cleaning. At don’t have the money to blow on your dreams by duplicating a perfectly good facility on the shore.

          13. Ted, interlining is useful until it is isn’t; it’s a good way to get value out of an underused resource like, until electrification, Auckland’s near dormant rail corridors. But once the need for and value of higher frequencies and capacity is uncovered, (and the opportunity to run highly legible services), then it is time to clear lines as much as possible (or add track of course) in order to work them really hard.

            Of course it always makes sense to bring lines together at some really import core locations like the city centre and if track and station space is there then by all means run them together (this patten is observable in cities the world over) but if track and platform space is structurally limited, like in Auckland, then the only way is to build a new route, and surely it is better to do that to reach new areas than in parallel with the existing one, while connecting by transfer? Like to the Shore via Wynyard.

          14. Patrick and while you are at blow stacks of money wastefully duplicating really expensive facilities.

          15. Come on Ted, are you being wilfully ignorant? Seriously, tearing your hair out over “blowing stacks of money” duplicating a rail depot (maybe $100m tops) but you’re perfectly happy to add billions to the cost of a line demanding it run through our legacy heavy rail system?

          16. Nick the Wiri depot was over $100M 5 years ago and it is built on cheap Wiri land, there is no way you would duplicate that even now 5 years later (in reality it will be at least another 5-10 years in the future) on more expensive land (there is no point building it in Wiri is there) in another part of Auckland.

          17. Ok so it’s the land at Wiri is it… Land that is mostly taken up with stabling, stabling that’s basically full. So what does that tell us, any new rail line of any kind is going to need some new stabling on new land. Ok, got it. Hundred million for stabling.

            So back to reality, building a line to the north shore with light rail or light metro would save billions over trying to do it to meet the legacy requirements of the existing heavy rail network. Same as light rail is a billion cheaper to the airport than heavy rail.

            A new line of light rail needs stabling, as does a new line of heavy rail. So the difference is still about two. billion dollars saved by not demanding every train in Auckland can be cleaned at Wiri. I’ll take that saving thanks.

          18. Nick trains get serviced at Wiri, they also get their heavy cleans there. Standard cleaning happens in all the other depots. Any new line would require a new stabling facility (there is still capacity in some of the others and those that don’t can be extended cheaply) but there would not be the requirement to duplicate the maintenance facility as long as the new line is linked to Wiri via rail lines (and that those rail vehicles are permitted on the NIMT).

          19. RIght, but apart from in la la land, how is spending billions extra on heavy rail to save $50 million by not building a second maintenance facility for light rail ag good idea.

            In fact a light rail depot could cost half a billion dollars and it would still be a better idea.

    1. No, it was never a big selling point, the main selling points were the ability to more than double frequencies, reduce travel times from the west, remove buses from the CBD. You’re right though, there were earlier plans that had NS trains coming into Britomart, these were shelved due to this needing to be a flat junction and the impact that would have on frequencies. Current planning is for NS rail to pass under Aotea at some point.

    2. Bigted, Leslie – lots of metropolitan transportation systems around the world consist of different rolling stock on different lines. What is important, is the quality of passenger connectivity (ie. interchanges) and not the fact that the rails will have physical connections. That way a most appropriate, modern, cost effective system can be introduced independently of the existing system. Check out Buenos Aires metro – almost every line has different stock, not necessarily compatible to the other. Vancouver in Canada has three kinds of rail systems – heavy rail for longer commutes, and driver-less light rail for urban trips. The former consists of 2 versions of their Skytrains, which are NOT compatible with each other. They however connect passengers in their CBD station. So as for North Shore using another type of rail, whether it’s metro, light, or heavy is still a valid option. For me I don’t care what colour of flavour it is, as long as it’s fast, frequent and reliable. And after using their driverless light rail, which was fast and frequent for over 6 months I’d love to see driver-less for us on the Shore.

        1. Correction… these systems ARE linked. Regarding costs, I don’t pretend to have the numbers, you probably don’t have the numbers either, so it’s a bit pointless arguing. All I stated is that it’s what many other cities are doing around the world, so there must be some merit there.

          1. So they are or are not linked and intercompatible? You just seamed to have changed your mind.

          2. Look up Buenos Aires metro map on google. Look at line C. Now look at line A, B and D. Does the line C link to A B and D? You should be answering yes. Now I tell you that the rolling stock running on line C is not “intercompatible” with the stock running on line A – not sure about the others. In terms of Auckland. The current network runs heavy rail stock. The future North Shore line doesn’t have to. It will still link at Aotea Station to the rest of the network, so that people can transfer there by going up a set of escalators. You seem pretty on-to-it Bigted, but you seem to not be able to acknowledge that a linked and connected transit network doesn’t necessary need to be all the same.

          3. So back to the added cost statement. The figures are irrelevant when it comes to the wasteful spending of duplicating facilities.

          4. Facilities in what terms? Seriously Bigted you seem to be on some kind of campaign that heavy rail is the only option and we should not even consider anything else based on some beliefs of yours. How do you explain other cities around the world making this “wasteful” spending? I feel that if we dag down deeper into the numbers, we might find that it’s actually better use of money. Auckland Transport gave some details by saying “poor value for money” when describing heavy rail to the airport, and it seems that they’re concentrating on Light Rail now. I’m not saying I’m supporting or opposing this in any way, I’m just saying that your point of “wasteful” spending in regards to another public transport method might not be valid.

          5. Bigted – do you have any evidence that having different systems costs more? I would have thought there would be many instances where there would be cost advantages to being able to build a horses for courses rather than everything to the same standard.

          6. Stranded on the North Shore and jezza, I can’t believe it needs to be spelt out for you. Do you have a ball park figure what AT payed for their Wiri facility? At the very least you need to duplicate that for the special north shore trains and it will not be on relatively cheap land at Wiri, if you are using multiple rail modes that don’t join together you can’t send the special North shore or Dominion rd LRV down the NIMT line to Wiri for maintenance and cleaning you will need to duplicate these facilities in different parts of Auckland on mostly more expensive land, but don’t let me ruin your wet dream.

          7. Bigted – I don’t doubt there are cost savings from having one depot over two. However, you are just cherry picking one saving out of many potential costs and benefits. Light rail would be able to run up Onewa Rd, expanding the extent of the network. The ability to run on street in the CBD will also make the system more affordable in the short term, without ruling out the option of a LR CRL2 at some point in the future when volumes require it.

            As mentioned above there are plenty of networks in the world with different systems on different lines, Sydney and Melbourne appear to be heading down this route, and I imagine they have weighed up the costs and benefits of doing this.

          8. jezza best you start saving then, when you get up to $1B we will look for a site for your maintenance, training and heavy cleaning facility to be located and that is before you get to lay a single rail. LR on Onewa rd that is even more funny than LR on Dominion Rd.

          9. Bigted can you offer any solid reasons as to why other cities around the world choose to have multiple systems with multiple stabling facilities, linked by interchange stations, and why it’s not a good model to follow?

          10. Auckland has five stabling facilities and two stations that units are stabled at night in but only one Wiri facility, I can’t speak for why any other city somewhere in the world does what they do but here in Auckland we should be looking at the best overall options rather than saving $100M on a particular mode for a special area and then go and spend (waste) $2B duplicating a facility that we already have to cater for it.

          11. $1 billion for a depot – and you’re questioning other people’s intelligence in this discussion!? They electrified the network, bought 57 trains and a depot for $1 billion, it’s going to be very hard to take you seriously from this point on.

          12. jezza at $100M on cheap land at Wiri 5 years ago, try finding a comparable site (yes just the bare site) next to your dream railway on the shore for anywhere near that. You need to wait till you get home before you lie back and fantasize about you special railway and all the unnecessary spending that the city can’t afford so that your boss doesn’t get upset with you.

          13. Light rail in-the-street would be a big mistake for a North Shore arterial rail route. In fact I don’t believe it would happen. It would be ruled out at the initial concept-design stage as being incompatible with the type of high-capacity, rapid-transit service required. If it is to be light rail then it will be light metro, on its own protected right-of-way throughout. Otherwise it will be heavy rail, and I agree with Bigted, though not necessarily for all the reasons he throws up.

            You don’t spend $2.6 billion (or whatever the cross-harbour rail tubes will cost) and then feed them into a low-speed, restricted-capacity street environment.

            And please don’t anyone start on about how street-LRT can be faster and higher-capacity than the artificially-constrained HR operation we have now. I know it can, but we wouldn’t build new like this, and what we currently have will progressively be speeded-up.

            True rapid transit (i.e. rail corridor) is simply not compatible with the street-environment. Conversely, transit operating in the street is ‘slow-transit, not rapid.

            See
            http://greaterakl.wpengine.com/2016/01/13/perhaps-light-rail-is-fast-enough-afterall/#comment-194917

          14. It wouldn’t be $2.6b for the tunnel if you built it as light rail, that’s the whole point. Much easier geometry, cheaper smaller, shallower tunnels, more surface level running.

            I don’t see what your big deal with surface running is, a train can move just as quickly up the middle of Fanshawe St as it could in a tunnel below it.

        2. Extra costs? That’s exactly why we might choose a different technology, like, for example, driverless Light Metro. The SkyTrain in Vancouver runs at full cost recovery, and has done since 2001. Why remain wedded with older conditions when the opportunity to get that kind of advantage is there?

        3. Also Ted, you have a lot of opinions but never any evidence; what did Wiri cost, nothing like $1b, right? So why would an LR depot cost that? If you’re going to throw numbers around you need to be able to back them up.

          1. Do I correctly remember the council saying $1b for LRT on Dominion Road including stabling?

          2. Patrick Wiri cost over $100M 5 years ago and is built on cheap land at Wiri, your LR facility will require everything that Wiri (and won’t be built for at least 10 years probably a lot longer) has but won’t have the advantage of being on cheap land at Wiri.

  8. But the NZTA was set up to be arms length. They do what they wish and if a law is breached they will just go and get the law changed. Remember how Transit NZ cut through Mt Roskill despite an old law protecting it. We live in NZ where not everyone is equal under the law. Government agencies are given an easy path and if they stray from that easy path they are given an even easier path. The Crown does as it pleases.

    1. Yep. So the likes of transportblog, greater auckland, campaing for better transport, bike auckland etc. are ever so more important to make public aware of other options and bad governance. Thank you, hat tip to all.

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