The first section of the City Rail Link, from Britomart to Wyndham St, is now well under construction. Yesterday Auckland Transport announced the first contract documents for the rest of the project have now gone out to the industry. This is for the all the rail related infrastructure that will eventually go in the tunnels, the filling to the CRL sandwich if you will. The tunnels themselves will go out to tender later as they need the winner of this contract to help finalise the documents for the tunnels to make sure they’ll all work together.

Expressions of Interest are being sought for the design, procurement, installation and commissioning of all tunnel track work and rail systems between Britomart Station and the Western Line at Mt Eden. The work involves the provisioning of track slab, track, overhead line, signalling, control systems, tunnel ventilation, fire strategy and communications system.

The successful contractor will be responsible for the integration of the systems with the existing operations at Britomart and Mt Eden and the new tunnels and stations being built for the CRL.

The documents, the first to be released to build the project past its current Britomart and Albert street sites, have been prepared as a result of the agreement between the Government and Auckland Council to jointly fund the project.

The C7 systems package will be procured using an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) model followed by a Design and Construct contract.

Other packages to be released this year include one for the construction of the CRL tunnels and new city, Karangahape and Mt Eden stations and a further package for a stormwater diversion in Mt Eden.

The various contracts as part of the project are shown below

It’s good that we’ve reached a milestone, and will obviously be even better once these contracts are signed. The graphic below gives an indication of when that will be.

But the purpose of this post isn’t just about some PR fluff. The announcement prompted me to look and see if there was any new information about the project, and I was in luck, finding a number of new presentations on AT’s CRL Procurement page that came from an industry briefing at the end of November.

Below are some of the items that caught my attention from the documents.

One of the first things to strike me was this new map showing the rail network with and without the CRL and it raises some concerning questions. These include

  • I count seven different service patterns for a what is a fairly basic four track network. This seems focused on running trains rather than making things easier for customers and so all this will do is make things more confusing for passengers when all that is needed is a simple two line network.
  • Related to above, why are services shown as terminating still at Britomart and not through routing – which is the entire point of the CRL.
  • The map shows most of the Western Line, west of Mt Albert, stuck with no additional frequency to get to the city whilst sending the same number of trains to completely avoid the city centre. The demand to the city will be many many times larger than those wanting to go west-south so what’s the point in investing $billions in infrastructure if we’re not going to use it to improve service for a large section of the rail network.
  • The map shows another new service pattern running from Mt Albert to Otahuhu. How’s that going to work, are AT planning on building new platforms at Mt Albert?
  • There is also an orange label for extra trains from the south but no line to match it.

You can see a larger version of just the post CRL map here.

Another perhaps clearer version of what is planned is shown in this operations diagram – note to AT: if your operations diagram is easier to understand than a more customer centric map then you’re doing it wrong.

An aspect of both maps that really annoys me personally is that there is no planned change to services past Henderson meaning what exists today is as good as it gets.

A document also contains the outcomes of some of the passenger modelling. The concerning thing here is that they suggest Aotea will only see 6,750 people exiting the station in an AM peak hour and 6,500 at Britomart. We know Britomart already sees over 10k exit over a two hour peak (of which most would be in a single hour) so these numbers seem way too low. I’m guessing this could be another victim of our transport models which like to think no one wants to use trains in Auckland and continually underestimates usage.

One quite concerning slide is this, suggesting the project now won’t be completed till 2024. It would be extremely disappointing if it slipped to then.

Part of the C7 contract will see changes made to the platform layout, making Britomart a four-track station (from five) so bigger platforms can be provided for the CRL though routed lines. As part of the C9 contract (Britomart East), changes will also be made to the station to improve access from the eastern end. I’m sure the design will be refined over time. This isn’t planned to start construction till after the CRL is operational.

Around Mt Eden, two new pedestrian bridges are being built across the network, one at the current level crossing next to the station linking into to Ngahura St (top) and one which will replace the Porters Rd level crossing (which is to be closed).

Speaking of Mt Eden, the project needs a chunk of land near the station to build the project but which can be later developed. This image shows the potential development for that land, adding thousands of new dwellings. It’s also worth noting that the value of this is something not captured in the formal economic case.

Also on development, the Wellesley St (Aotea) and Mercury Lane (K Rd) entrances are being designed to be built over. At the Wellesley St, they have allowed for a 17-24 storey building above and beside the station entrance while at Mercury Lane a 7-8 storey building is possible. I’m sure this image of Aotea is just to show the scale of what’s possible rather than any proposal.

At Aotea, the documents indicate some neighbouring land owners might want direct connections to the station. This includes to the NDG tower proposal (the current vacant site on Elliott St) and a potential link to Skycity. They’re also say this on future proofing for a potential North Shore Line.

The design also provides for future-proofing for the assumed alignment of a North Shore Line in Wellesley Street. It includes an adjustment of the size and location of piles that form part of the station box

There’s also this new image of the entrance on Victoria St. If you look closely you can see they’ve squeezed four lanes of traffic in but one thing that’s notable that’s missing is any cycleway – which is listed as an Urban Cycleway Fund project. See here for more information on why the AT design is poor.

In addition to the CRL itself, some of the wider network works associated with the project include

  • adding the connection from west to platform 4 as Newmarket
  • provisioning the additional platform at Otahuhu (the platform itself was built as part of the station works).
  • additional platforms at Henderson to deal with services terminating there – this is shown below.

Have you had a look at the documents, is there anything else from them that stands out to you?

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  1. The 2025 and 2045 train plans show additional lines, looks like a west to NS link from Henderson along Lincoln Rd to Westgate then east. Also a loop from Onehunga to airport and from there to rejoin southern line. Panmure loop via Botany to Manakau?
    Maybe the AT people who created these diagrams have some insight into future HR?

    1. I know their graphics are truly appalling but there are no plans for anything but ever more traffic gridlock on Lincoln Rd. There should be BRT from Henderson to the Upper Harbour there, but they aren’t even doing that…

      1. A travesty. Whatever the future of the Shore Rail, be it Heavy or Light Rail, has to be looped around from Albany/Constellation to SH16. The two areas are now inseparable and the amount of planned development means they’ll eventually become indistinguishable.

        1. Figure 30, 2025. This shows the dark green line (western line) with 6 trains per hour from Swanson. In addition there is the light green line from Henderson with the label “3 tph – 1 hour peak direction only”.

          So you have six trains an hour both ways on the full line, with an extra 3 trains an hour added for the busy part of the peak between Henderson and Britomart, giving a total of 9tph in the peak direction at peak time.

  2. “The concerning thing here is that they suggest Aotea will only see 6,750 people exiting the station in an AM peak hour”

    Looks to me like it’s 13500; 6750 from each direction. At 24 tph in each direction and if each train is loaded to 900 passengers that’s a capacity of 43200 per hour. 13500 is slightly under a third of that so at a rough first-pass estimate 13500 seems plausable.

    1. MFD the models do not have a good track record here. Have they been updated?, it seems various assumptions buried deep within them lead to serious under-prediction of PT, especially rail, numbers. One modeller admitted to me a while ago: ‘the models hate rail’. For example here is their effort at Britomart:

      1. Historical underestimation notwithstanding, Patrick, train frequency and capacity sets an upper limit on passengers alighting at any station. A very broad-brushstroke estimation based on the entire maximum hourly capacity (6 car trains loaded to 900 passengers) with all of those passengers “alighting to street” at one of the CRL stations and distributed evenly over the 3 stations (I guess that one could argue 4) suggests that the estimate is in the right general vicinity and is not evidence of “transport models which like to think no one wants to use trains in Auckland”.

        1. Yes but that is to put the cart before the horse. We should not be assuming that today’s modelling tells us that much about potential and desired running patterns in 2041! All these plans are just that; plans. Unfortunately they seem to be treated as gospel by too many, and will drive narrow investment decisions that will limit different futures, but history tells that that just means we then expensively rebuild things when the model has been proved wrong. Again.

          I understand that we need to look ahead to possible or likely running patterns in order to make hard engineering decisions, but again, history, especially recent history, tells us that both our models, and the assumptions of many technicians and others, are very likely to be wrong. So it behooves us to not get too fixed on these numbers and try to build in as much as flexibility as possible. And most important of all keep a weather eye on ideal outcomes, and how they may be shaped, rather than giving into the narrow culture of meeting modelled ‘demand’: decide and provide over predict and provide.

        2. Furthermore those pedestrian numbers are modelled from the outputs of a model! Not only doubling down on any mistaken assumptions, but also going in circles: First they model ‘demand’, from which they derive running patterns, then they model ped ‘demand’ from that running pattern. Isn’t this a great big circle?

          I agree that modelling is a useful tool, and it’s important to do it. But the outputs should always be viewed with scepticism and especially with as much understanding as possible about the inputs and assumptions buried within. It must be seen as only one input into the decision making mix. It is easy to see how it gets to command such attention though; because it’s numerical, and because it appears to offer factual information. It does not.

          Future ‘demand’ as an objective and discoverable fact is a chimera. It can and is induced and/or stifled by decisions we make today. There is as much art as science to this city building business. As there ever was.

        3. “the inputs and assumptions buried within”

          A model with buried assumptions and inputs is, ipso facto, a bad model.

          “Unfortunately they seem to be treated as gospel by too many”

          Not by me; as an atheist I treat nothing as gospel.

        4. Not only are our transport models entirely constructed of assumptions, and it is very hard to get those that run to share these, but also when they spit out their results they look at them and go; ‘hmmm, that doesn’t look right; we’ed better tweak some things here and there to improve the result’. Which may indeed lead to a more accurate outcome, or not? Doesn’t that rather depend who is doing the tweaking and what they believe. I’m just saying the evidence thus far, especially for PT, and especially especially for rail, is particularly poor. So buckets of salt required all round, wouldn’t you agree?

        5. “Not only are our transport models entirely constructed of assumptions”

          Assumptions and constraints/boundaries. Assumptions are necessary since data from the future is an impossibility. The challenge with assumptions is whether they are reasonable.
          If the inputs or assumptions associated with a model are altered to give the operators expectation of a future outcome then there isn’t much point in using the model. If, however, they are altered to match an observed outcome that is quite rational.

        6. Except they assume trains will never have not then 750 people on them and station use unlikely to be even, Aotea likely to be significantly more then Britomart and definitely K Rd & Mt Eden. I could easily see it needing to accommodate 20k an hour at times

        7. MFD, I don’t think it is reasonable to assumed that arrivals are evenly distributed across the CRL stations. Look at the land use, catchments and connectivity. Aotea has twice the catchment of either Britomart or K Rd.

          Britomart is half water, K Rd half motorway. Aotea’s catchment is 100% city centre, and very high density at that, and it includes the universities too.

          I would expect that Aotea patronage would exceed that of Britomart and K Rd put together.

        8. Neither do I…but neither to I expect the average load to be the crush load or that every passenger entering the CRL will exit to the street from one of 3 stations. The object of the 30 second quick estimate was a quck check to see if ATs figures were in the right ballpark. What I did do is state my assumptions and the basis of the calculation (which is what a good model should do)…so let’s run a second-pass estimate:

          Average train loading 98% of crush loading (since the distribution is assymmetric so it is most unlikey that the mean will also be the maximum.)
          Include Mt Eden as a CRL destination (seems reasonable)
          5% of passengers through the CRL will continue to destinations beyond the CRL
          25% of passengers transfer to other routes (see AT figures above)
          Relative alighting shares for the 4 CRL stations are 15% Mt Eden, 20% K Road, 20% Britimart and 45% Aotea.

          Mean total hourly passengers approaching Britomart or Mt Eden: 900 * 48 * 0.98 = 42336
          Mean total hourly passengers getting off at one of the 4 stations: 42336 * 0.95 = 40219
          Mean total hourly passengers alighting to street: 40219 * 0.75 = 30164
          Proportion alighting to street at Aotea: 30164 * 0.45 = 13574

          So from a 2nd pass it seems ATs modelling is producing plausible projections. Feel free to propose an alternative view or correct any errors but I want to see all assumptions and calculations, please..

          Now back to my margarita.

        9. I think your comprehension is out. 13500 is the figure provided by AT and my statement is that this is slightly less than one third of 43200. Does anyone grasp the concept of first-pass approximations as a check on the output of a model?

        10. As Nick says above it is very hard to accept that Aotea won’t be by far the biggest attractor of the three stations. In fact I think the only thing that may limit the numbers there is pedestrian congestion, some choosing to alight at a station either side, especially Britomart, if it is under-built for people.

        11. Mt Eden should not be included, it is not in the city, furthermore no Southern Line services stop there; they can’t as there’s no south facing CRL platforms. It’ll have its own attractions, but not at the expense of the city stations, ie alighters are likely to replaced by boarders there. There’s still really only two city stations proper. K Rd and Parnell will have their own catchments, but neither really have the catchments of Britomart and Aotea, and as Nick outlines above Aotea is the killer; it is smack in the heart of the densest concentration of employment in the country, and more proximate to the densest education concentration too. Retail, hotels, and residential round it out. Britomart has the ferries and a lot of buses, but Aotea has a huge bus connection too, especially on Wellesley, but also Albert. But also LR on Queen?

          So even if capacity on the CRL is capped at 44k, which is not certain; who would be surprised if ~20k weren’t using Aotea in the peak hour in 2041 and beyond? That modelling is timid, surely.

          And cheers!

        12. I’m with MFD on the margaritas which seem easier to count! Aotea will cannibalise some of Britomart’s patronage and that would also need to be entered into any calculations. Given the maximum capacity per 6 car train is officially closer to 750 than 900, we are talking “crush capacity”.

          On the upside, is short-hop trips within the CRL off-peak. Definitely a goer inter-peak on wet or humid days if the right fare incentives are in place – “gotta get to that meeting in one of the new office towers near K road from mid or bottom of Queen St and I have I a nice suit I don’t want to get all wet or sweaty”. I think off-peak is going to be the area that will determine viability and outstrip patronage modelling. The impact of the “place-changing” around the new Karangahape station will be limited only by the compromises that have been made with the design of that particular station.

          Coming back to peak journeys and capacity, I think it is going to be come time, sooner than later to seriously look at tighter frequencies along with higher level ECTS – something closer to full automation, at least through the CRL section. That in combination with a very different GEN2 EMU design: euro-style articulation to keep doors close to the platforms, faster “outside sliding” metro doors, and more of them. AMs demoted to the Waiuku shuttle then?

  3. That Aotea entrance seems quite obtrusive to me. It seems to take over the area. I guess it’s been made a ramp for wheelchair access.

    1. Jeff they have drawn it like that to try to hide the needless and terrible four lane ‘arterial’ they are curiously obsessed with having behind it. If the renderer’s ‘camera’ was on the other side of Victoria St all you’d see is four lanes of traffic, buses that shouldn’t be on Victoria, and that entrance squeezing the footpath against the building line…. This is a deceptive visual designed specifically to mislead and misdirect. Why have they not up loaded the plan from which this ‘artwork’ is derived? It is because it will show a ridiculous imbalance between carriageway and pedestrian realm? We can only assume so. Someone at AT is obsessed with killing the Victoria St Linear park and they are not being very subtle about it.

      So we have to ask this: why are we building this underground railway if not to significantly improve the city? Specifically the public realm of the streets above. Why would we make this investment and turn down the place quality dividend?

      Looks again like the traffic modelling tail wagging the city dog. Again.

  4. Re:across suburbs networks. I want to point out the circulatory of your argument. I.e. demand to the cbd is high but this is at least in part due to the lack of across network options. I.e. commuting west to sth and vice versa.

    1. There is good data on this; Britomart is the overwhelming destination, west south transfers are not huge. And it is unlikely that changing to infrequent direct services will significantly change this. Furthermore the growth in employment, education, and habitation in the city is continuing to increase strongly, rather than dilute the concentration of destinations served by the inner stations. The city is also the are where the most significant parking supply/cost pressures will increase too. Which is to say that driving will remain a more completive option for cross town journeys longer than will city focussed ones; cross town will increase in importance, especially with the through-routing possible by the CRL, but high frequency and a transfer will be able to meet that well, along with some limited direct service, where justified.

      Those maps look much more to me like possible services than likely patterns to me. When the service design is not just left to train planners but also has input from people that understand the customer as well as the machines then legibility will become a more significant input. Anyway, we are building a transfer system, these patterns look like they were designed by someone who started with a rule that says waiting is fine but transferring is now illegal; only direct journeys are possible!

      1. Yes, but you’re ignoring the circularity of this. There are few cross network transfers because the network is not designed in a way that makes such transfers viable. For example, I live West and work South (3 mins walk from Glen Eden and Manuaku stations respectively). One way train journeys involve 3 transfers, resulting in a 90-120 minute trip each way (unworkable). Similarly, there are no viable cross network bus options, and neither are there Southern/Eastern line train stations that are within a reasonable distance from a central-west cycle lane, so that a cycle/train mix is workable (I have an e-bike and have tried this…it doesn’t work). The Onehunga dog leg is a possibililty here, but I tried that too, it doesn’t work either.

        Traffic build up on the South-western motorway suggests that I am not the only one who undertakes such as commute. And before you comment, the nature of my job means that I cannot work within my own community, hence the need to be out South.

        While I agree that demand will be less for travel of this nature, my point is that using data from a network that doesn’t cater for such travel to justify not making any changes to that network is circular and silly.

        1. No I get your point and in general you’re right, it’s the old; ‘no one builds a bridge over a river based on the number of people currently swimming to get across’.

          However in this case the CRL itself solves your problem much the same, and perhaps better, without a cross town service. In fact the case for a cross town service prior to the CRL is stronger in my view, but that’s another story. Post CRL Glen Eden to Manukau is a one-transfer trip regardless of there being a crosstown service or not. Either you transfer at a CRL station from a western line train to an eastern one. Or if there’s a crosstown you switch at Otahuhu to the eastern line. Ok the former passes through 22 stations and the later 19. But the more important determinant of total travel time and reliability of travel time is frequency as that determines waiting time at the beginning and transfer point.

          And if there is a crosstown service it must come at the expense of higher frequency on the main routes if we (reasonably) assume that there is a fixed amount of money for train services, and the controlling authority (AT) is charged with achieving value for money and efficiency (it is). The 2025 train plan above has the Purple crosstowner at 3tph, a train every 20mins, and the main line at 6tph. The alternative is to have those same machines and crews working the main lines at 9tph; better more predictable frequency, especially at the Manukau end. And also more likely to achieve higher ridership goals, so more likely.

          But either way, the CRL is your saviour, unless AT were able to institute some kind of crosstown pre-CRL, and I am not certain Newmarket and other constraints can accommodate such a pattern.

          And the daft Mt Albert short runner is of no use to you at either end.

  5. The Victoria Street Entrance would be very popular not just for passengers but also for those wanting to get up the hill trying to use the escalator instead of walking. I’m hoping they have planned for this.

  6. What the point of running trains in peak direction only? Somehow they have to get back to the next run. They’ll have to follow a regular service all the way back as there is no way to overtake. Why not just simply increase the frequency?

  7. I’m thinking the lack of trains west of Mt Albert is a result of not having Woodward Rd, St Judes St, St Georges Rd grade separated.

  8. Question: all these post-CRL maps show the new Parnell station as being served solely by the Onehunga-line services. This in itself isn’t a problem (I like how it echo’s Aucklands first rail services along the same route) but if this is the case, why is AT proposing the new station will be initially served solely by Southbound trains? Surely it would make sense to have Parnell served by Onehunga trains from the get-go if this is the proposed future-state for the line?

    1. Post CRL the southern trains won’t go past Parnell, only Onehnuga (ex Western) and the other Western trains that terminate/start at Newmarket. I think the reason is that the Onehunga trains won’t initially is due to the stops already being cut to save the number of units required to run the line to allow more elsewhere.

    2. Probably because there are only two Onehunga trains an hour, hardly a useful level of service. Western line is slow enough already so that leaves the southern to stop and provide a reasonable level of service and coverage.

  9. Just out of interest, and relating to the reasonably appalling graphics and renders here, who are the architectural consultants on the CRL ? Or is it all in-house? Have the architectural and engineering packages been let already for the stations, or is that going to be staged as well?

    While some of it is amusing (man carrying small child across entrance to Aotea while another escapes), some is just plain awful (the picture of Britomart is pretty bad, but the image below is just painfully inept – what is this meant to show? That there is a large blank smoked glass box for no reason in the middle of a mostly empty concourse somewhere?). It’s the most crap design I’ve seen for years, and honestly, most of my second year students could do better.

    The graphics for train movements are pretty bad as well, and I agree – does not show much evidence of a well thought-through strategy of train movements. I’m dead keen to learn what that new missing Orange Line is going to do.

    1. Jasmax and Grimshaw, pretty certain neither they nor Council’s Design Office had much to do with these amateurish efforts…? These seem to be the result of engineers determined that they don’t need the input of ‘fluffy’ designers…. Unless this divide is sorted out soon I have grave fears for the quality of what the city will be getting for this considerable investment.

    2. “I’m dead keen to learn what that new missing Orange Line is going to do”
      Maybe an indication of projected freight frequencies between Papakura (or Pukekohe) and Westfield (?)

  10. 6tph (min) Swanson – Otahuhu / Mangere Spur via CRL and Panmure
    6tph (min) Henderson – Papakura via CRL and Parnell
    6tph (min) Manukau – Penrose / Onehunga (3tph) via Panmure, CRL and Grafton

    Swanson – Mangere Spur can initially stop at Otahuhu and eventually extend to the Airport. Services can be short run to / from Henderson as required.
    Henderson – Papakura can become Mt Albert / Mt Roskill Spur to Pukekohe with electrification.
    Manukau – Onehunga can initially be short run to Penrose as required until Onehunga is upgraded.

    All stations Henderson to Panmure, south to Puhinui 12tph (min) except Grafton (6), Parnell (6) and Onehunga Branch (3) until upgraded.
    6tph (min) Manukau, Swanson to Henderson and south of Puhinui to Papakura.

    18tph (min) Britomart Aotea K’Rd (CRL)

    Future 6-9tph:
    Swanson / Henderson – Airport
    Mt Roskill – Papakura / Pukekohe
    Onehunga – Manukau

    1. Nope.

      10-12 tph on each of the two ‘lines’:
      1. Papakura [Puke when electrified] to Manukau via Grafton
      2. Swanson to Otahuhu/Onehunga via Parnell

      Done. Super legible, super frequent, super efficient. 20/24 tph each way in CRL and Newmarket

      Perhaps there’s some short running from Henderson and Papakura if that’s too much service at the extremes, but those are details dependent on development etc
      Invest cleverly in Onehunga line to increase its capacity but the spilt with Otahuhu is perhaps only problematic because each word starts with an O!
      Look at direct west/south services but with 5 min frequencies transferring is a trivial issue, and K Rd is an island all weather platform, perfect for switching west to south. East to south have a choice of Britomart, Aotea, and K rd. all single level, all weather, high frequency options.

      1. If you really dig into the complexity above that is basically what they are proposing. Read the key on Figure 30. Two main lines South to East, and West to Onehunga. The extras are the third crosstown line, and the smorgasboard of additional peak frequency overlaid between various points on the main red and green lines.

        Most of the time it would just be the two main lines and the crosstown line.

      2. Not sure if it is a yes ‘nope’ question.
        More do you want 2 lines or 3 plus the North Shore.

        If you do run 2 lines then you would definitely need to short run but with the capacity to up freq.

        I would change that pattern slightly:
        10/12tph Swanson – Manukau via Parnell
        10/12tph Pukekohe – Onehunga / Otahuhu (split) via Panmure, Grafton

        I think that would be a more separate / legible timetable with more transfer spread South and West.

        1. That’s an interesting variation. Would need to map to properly interrogate. But same principle; high legibility, high frequency, so yes.

          As for the Shore our current view is that the best next crossing is to take LRT up the Busway and to Takapuna; it balances the Dom Rd southern end and more, really taking advantage of the Queen St Transit street (which I don’t believe will ever be acceptable as a major bus alley) at once massively upgrading the Transit capacity to and through the city, replacing a good number of buses, and complementing the conventional rail network.
          So an advantage is that being a new and separate network it means it doesn’t take capacity away from the current rail system. Enabling that to grow to max throughput.

        2. Yes I agree with you both Patrick and John. Two clear lines, that run back and forth are what’s needed – easy to use, reliable. Similar to Brisbane, very simple.
          If each line looped around the city centre stations, like in Melbourne, passengers could choose where to make their transfer (if required), depending of what errands they needed to make. Very user friendly and flexible.
          I’ve no idea how that works technically, but from a user point of view, it’s what we need from the network.

  11. So millions of dollars are being spent on a road bridge at Cowie Street in Newmarket to grade separate 3 trains per hour?

    1. Assuming this running pattern happens, which isn’t assured, I would say.

      Also, its 6 tph, because the 3 tph is per direction.

      Lastly, if we assume another 2 or so years until Cowie St is built, there’s going to be (sigh) another 4 years until the CRL even opens.

      1. Actually it’s 12tph, 6tph in each direction. Check the figure 30, the 6tphpd of the main western line runs through the CRL and Parnell to Newmarket.

        1. Except it’s the whole western line, running at six trains an hour each way all day.

          So currently it’s 28 trains an hour across the crossing, but that may drop to 12 an hour with the CRL.

        2. Ok so it becomes 12 tph of which only six count towards their claimed benefit. That is 1/3 of the number they assumed in their BC analysis.

    2. Grade separation for the entire network needs to be completed and we need to start somewhere.

      The number of trains per hour and the cost associated isn’t really the issue, it’s that we’ve got failure points where level crossings are.

      So a better question is what is the cost of not doing the grade separation.

  12. Let’s just say that the proposed running patterns above are pretty good ammunition for those that questioned the motivations and need for the CRL.
    But of course this solves the problem of the last few network outages caused by “line fault at Britomart” preventing anything running anywhere. Oh wait…

  13. I like the introduction of semi-fast services to/from the south – this will really drive patronage from all the housing we are building further and further from the CBD.

  14. Am i correct in reading that shows the Eastern Line terminating at Britomart still?

    Woeful if that’s the case.

  15. Stupid question time.

    Wouldn’t it be a better idea to issue one contract for the entire CRL project? If the contractor then needed to sub-contract aspects of the project they could do so.

    It must introduce complications and additional time to be dealing with one contractor for this, another contractor for that and yet another contractor for the next bit.

    1. Cutting it into pieces presumably has cost benefits, as more qualified tenderness to compete for price. Also easier to kick off partial projects to get going with early works etc.

      1. Actually, cutting a contract into smaller pieces often has the opposite effect to cost cutting: in the long run, it costs more. Stops a budget blow out overall, but allows smaller sections of work to blow out or be cut back as progress dictates.

    2. The CRL Procurement strategy which is outlined in the industry briefing presentations is a reflection that there is a lot more involved in in building an underground rail system that is safe to operate than digging the tunnels. Also although the big Civil contractors in NZ are good at civil engineering they have no experience in engineering and integrating the complex rail systems required. Conversely the main overseas rail contractors mostly want have experience of NZ civil/ geotechnical conditions etc. Splitting the job into a number of packages does allow the right supplier to be appointed for each of the main work types , albeit at the expense of more complex management arrangements. AT have been pretty smart in their thinking and have taken account of experience good and bad on similar overseas rail projects.

  16. The plans for Henderson look interesting, the new platforms for Henderson terminating services only from the Britomart direction? With the possibility of western services going out to Huapai or further, probably using dmus or maybe SAs & diesel locos, then Henderson would look a more likely terminating point for these rather than developing Swanson to have a dmu platform (similar to P4 at Papakura)
    The future proofed extended platforms for longer 9 car emus (3x AMs) or perhaps new design 7 or 8 car emus?

    1. I don’t know why they don’t just do it at Swanson, its only 10 min down the line. Its almost like running one of the Southern lines to Manurewa only instead of Papakura.

      Also it would likely be easier and cheaper to upgrade Swanson.

      1. I would have thought that your idea of running to Swanson is like running everything on the southern line to Pukekohe (once it is electrified) instead of stopping at least every second train at Papakura.

        1. Except Swanson is a) closer to Henderson than Pukekohe is to Papakura b) there are other stations along the way. Otherwise, yes, identical.

        2. There are two or three stations to be built between Papakura and Pukekohe as part of the electrification, there is no reason these stations can’t be built now and serviced by the ADLs.

        3. Swanson is as far from the CRL as Manurewa, and Henderson as far as Papatoetoe. The cost/fleet required to run is basically a function of distance x frequency… It appears that the plan to start and end extra frequency at Henderson isn’t a response to demand or service patterns so much as a convenient and efficient place to do it, due to the fact the depot is there.

        4. The fact that the North Western is struggling and the areas to the North West of Henderson are expected to shoulder a massive amount of housing and commercial development seems to be irrelevant. Oh well, that’s a problem they can deal with in 2046.

    2. Has anything been released recently regarding plans to extend the service to Huapai? Are AT looking at battery trains similar to pukekohe. It’s madness the number of houses going out that way without a viable PT option to the city.

      1. There has been no release that I’ve seen but in reality there is little to no chance of battery trains on our network any time soon.

    3. There is a park and ride one station further up from Henderson. It’s far easier to get to for a lot of people than Henderson is and it’s close to schools and main roads. But sure, let’s just stop at Henderson.

        1. Correct, but it is also close to a bunch of schools and there is a lot of land there to do a lot more with in terms of future development. Having the extra CRL services run as far as Henderson and then stop seems like a bit of a waste when simply going one further stop would see them terminate at a Park and Ride.

    4. So West Auckland takes a mass of new housing but as far as AT is concerned, all of the CRL service increase is going to occur at Henderson? Sorry, not good enough.

  17. The image of the Aotea Station entrance looks to me quite scary, because at peak hour its relatively narrow width would be fully occupied with peak direction pedestrians, leaving virtually no room for anyone walking counterpeak. Recently I walked in the counterpeak direction along a footpath leading to Melbourne’s Parliament station, and had to walk on the road because the footpath itself was completely occupied by peak direction pedestrians. It is quite scary and intimidating trying to walk in the opposite direction to a strong pedestrian flow. Pedestrian capacity around the station needs to cope with 2 simultaneous train arrivals, each with just over half a crush load alighting at Aotea. Melbourne City council recently did some modelling of pedestrian capacity of footpaths of various widths around stations. This modelling could be useful in arguing for adequate pedestrian capacity around the new stations.

    1. I thought the entrance might be something reasonably discreet like you see in London, maybe on the corner of Albert Street at the top, but no.

  18. Western Line really gets the bum end of the deal here
    I tried something a little more bold
    It if running to full capacity (of intention) gives at least 12 TPH from Swanson to Papakura with Henderson the CRL and Otahuhu to Puhinui getting 18 TPH.

    Eastern Line trains run from both Manukau and Pukekohe (allowing a maximum of 12-18 trains per hour when combined with the Southern Line) towards the City Centre allowing for maximum capacity
    At the moment I have the Southern Line skipping the CRL stations and going directly out West. I am inclined given the CRL can handle 24 trains per hour to bring the Southern Line through the CRL and back out on the Western Line for maximum capacity and flexibility. The Airport Line (currently Onehunga) would handle South to West if need be
    The Manukau to Henderson Line would divert to Mt Roskill if the Spur was ever built forming the Mt Roskill to Manukau Line
    Between Puhinui and Henderson your minimum train frequencies (factoring the Onehunga Line would go to Otahuhu Station instead forming an Otahuhu Shuttle until the Airport Line is built) is 12 trains per hour with heavily patronised sections like the CRL, Henderson to the CRL and between Puhinui (see below) and Otahuhu hitting 18 trains per hour (every 3:20 minutes)
    Given a busway from Manukau to Puhinui to the Airport via State Highway 20B is likely to be built soon Puhinui becomes a major interchange point for Airport passengers and hence the 18 TPH level at that station
    Onehunga Line would close if the Airport Line via Otahuhu were to be established (running at 6 TPH but can hit 12 giving the maximum of 24 TPH through the CRL)
    I have the Manukau South Link included to allow separate movements between Pukekohe and Manukau City Centre to keep the Southern and Eastern Lines clear for through passengers

    The run pattern I have tried to establish is to allow decent frequencies between the Metropolitan Centres that sit on the rail network and the City Centre. At the same time decent frequencies and connections to either Airport Rail, bus way or both is intended from this run pattern as well. With Albany and Takapuna Metropolitan Centres connected to the Northern Busway that connects back to Britomart only Westgate and Botany (until their bus ways are built) are left out from the Rapid Transit Network linking the Metro’s, the City Centre and the Airport all up. In other words I have tried to maximise catchments in, around and between our big centres.

  19. What is planned for naming/ wayfinding of the various routes after CRL is operational – presumably we cant keep calling a service that runs from Henderson to Otahuhu a ‘western line’ service? Would it become instead Blue Line (eastbound or westbound) for example?

  20. “The demand to the city will be many many times larger than those wanting to go west-south”

    The reason for the West-South services is that the upgraded Mt Eden station won’t have west-south transfer capability. It would be a giant leap backward if Western Line passengers to Newmarket and south had to go into the CRL, transfer at K Rd, then go back out the same way they came in, or continue around the loop to Newmarket.

    I don’t think there’s an issue with having a 10 minute frequency west of Henderson – that’s likely to meet patronage demands for the next 20 years at least.

    1. ” It would be a giant leap backward if Western Line passengers to Newmarket and south had to go into the CRL”

      Why? What exactly is a giant leap backwards about having a direct cross platform transfer between the two main lines? It’s only how every metro system in the world works.

      K Rd would be one stop from Grafton, and two from Newmarket. The fact that they would be transferring between the high frequency main lines makes that the faster approach anyway. The 2025 train plan has that crosstown running only once every twenty minutes. Meanwhile the main line is running every six to seven minutes. It’ll be faster just to take the next mainline train and transfer, which renders the crosstown line completely redundant.

      The real giant leap backwards would be to spend $2.5 billion on a super high capacity city tunnel and stations turning to turn our rail into a true rapid transit system… then immediately pull train fleet and resources out of city service and use them to run a low frequency suburban crosstown.

      1. Let me take a guess → travel time. Journeys between the western line and the southern line between Newmarket and Penrose will become slower. The trajectory between Mount Eden and K’road doesn’t look like it will afford high speed. I thought the idea was to build a network rather than just a star around the CBD.

        Too bad trains from the south can’t stop at Mount Eden.

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