Back in December, I posted the response from the NZTA regarding a breakdown of CAPEX costs for each intervention. However, over $13b of the costings was just put as other. I now have the breakdown of the other costings from the NZTA. NZTA would like us to note this is indicative, the costs are not inflation adjusted and each project requires a business case before proceeding.

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The highlights or lowlights depend on how you feel about a project. Some of my key observations were:

  1. More interchanges such as at rail stations like Avondale & Henderson, as well as bus/bus interchanges such as at Pt Chev.
  2. Better station access with a northern entrance to Newmarket Station, Greenlane station access, as well as an issue I have written about before providing better access to Sylvia Park Station.
  3. More motorway spending with an SH16 Kumeu Bypass at $424m, $300m for Greenland/Ellerslie-Panmure Highway interchange upgrades, $245m for 6 laning to Wilks Road Dairy Flat, $105m for 3 laning eastbound SH18, $80m for 3 laning westbound Upper Harbour Bridge, $72m for more Maioro interchange upgrades, $55m for Drury South interchange, $50m for 4 laning northbound from SEART to Ellerslie-Panmure Highway, $150m for braided ramps betwen Khyber Pass & Gillies.
  4. Countless billions on TFUG Greenfield roading projects.
  5. Bus Lanes to Howick but not until decade 2, bus lanes for the 31, 237m for more bus priority.
  6. $957m for walking & cycling including Seapath.
  7. A budget for a Wellesley St Bus Corridor & Wynyard Quarter bus interchange bringing again into question why do AT want to put buses down Victoria?
  8. A new Rosedale Station & an upgraded Te Mahia Station possibly meaning its stay of execution may be permanent.

So what do you think?

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  1. Thanks. For all the angst about debates over BRT versus LRT versus Heavy rail, the real issue in the figures stick out like a sore thumb: the bulk of the money is still going on freeways, often with dubious economic cases to support them, whilst insufficient is being spent to expand capacity of a public transport system that is bursting at the seams. The double standard is breathtaking.

    1. Anything in decades 2 and 3 is still very much subject to confirmation. The key here is ensuring future roading projects have to demonstrate their benefits, this would almost certainly see some drop off.

      This happened between 1984 and 2008 so there is no reason it can’t happen again.

  2. $55m on Drury Interchange? Needs to happen as the bridges are too low to allow Pukekohe electrification to happen currently. So at least if we get Drury done that does pave the way for the wires and eventually the Third Main.

    1. Isn’t Drury South the interchange that needs to be built for the Stevies industrial complex. Shouldn’t Stevensons pay for that.

      1. Wait Drury South – and the edit button just disappeared. Okay where is that interchange meant to go given the Rarmarama Interchange would be at the southern boundary of the complex while the actual Drury Interchange needs upgrading anyway.

        As for Stevensons paying? They should none the less

        1. Does anyone have a link to explain the motorway interchange? Will this effectively just be the Mill Road interchange?

          Also, is it too hopeful to suggest it might be a PT interchange?

    2. Why this talk of a ‘3rd main’ railway line. New York Subway with an ancient signalling system on its busiest line gets 29 trains per hour, London Underground with a more modern signals gets 35 trains per hour for peak on its busiest line.
      Whats the peak frequency now from Middlemore to Papakura ? 6 to 10 per hour ?

      1. I have about 14 per hour (6 passenger and 2 freight). after CRL will be 24 passenger trains alone.

        1. You are confused. Its a about a single line which is dictated by the sophistication of signals. 6 per hour + 2 freight is 8 per hour. You cant just add the trains on the other line. Obviously the freight train cant go faster than the stopping all stations trains, but they arent in a hurry anyway.
          New York old signals allow for just over two minute headway, but they arent even as busy sections have multiple line converging

        2. You can’t really compare a closed fully grade separated Metro system that is pretty much all underground or elevated to a mixed open one with level crossings multiple flat junctions running at grade.

          CRLL have said the maximum capacity of the CRL with ATO is 24tphpd. Under the current signalling I believe the max is 18tphpd.

          The freight trains are much longer, have very different acceleration times as well as timetable slip due to long distance hauling which means timetable slack is needed they also are not ETCS L1 Compliant so technically the 18tphpd signalling max doesn’t apply.

        3. Erm duker, the New York subway has four tracks on all it’s main corridors. Bear that in mind when you look at the headways of the service patterns in isolation.

          See the track diagrams here:

          For example, on your list the 1 runs every three minutes, on it’s own tracks. The 2 and the 3 share another set of tracks, and together they run not quite every three minutes. And that is considered that in New York.

        4. duker – there are currently 12 commuter trains per hour in each direction between Westfield and Wiri during peak, 6 on the Southern line and 6 on the Eastern line. This is too close to run freight trains without degrading performance on the network, this is why the 3rd main is needed.

      2. Actually, its an interesting point. Yes, we need a third main for freight, so that we can run one lane up for commuter lines (uninterrupted by freight) and one line down. I’d be surprised if Duker’s figures were from lines running at capacity – the London Underground was built first, and effectively has no extra lines for Express trains and so if one train breaks down, the whole line grinds swiftly to a halt.

        But New York’s subway came later and learned from London’s mistakes, and many of their lines actually have 4 sets of tracks through Manhattan, so that they can run Express services any time of day or night. Any new tracks that AT install for LR or HR need to have adequate numbers of crossovers to allow for passing in the case of breakdown.

        Freight, of course, used to be handled into New York by what is now the HighLine – no freight through their Subway lines and probably little through their heavy rail corridors except into New Jersey.

      3. Duker, train frequencies like that (>20 trains per hour on a single line) are only possible on dedicated systems that do not mix different types of trains with different performance characteristics. It also needs platform infrastructure for fast loading and disembarking from trains to be adequate. So for example there is no freight on the NY subway, which is really a stand alone metro-passenger rail type system. The Kiwirail mainline, with freight, short and long distance trains all mixed, will not achieve that. The third line is to remove conflicts with freight trains, after which the main line should be good for 24-28 trains an hour. More than that would probably require upgraded signalling and station facilities.

  3. Has anyone tallied the amount spent on roads vs other? I would hope only about 30% on roads given we already have a very good road network?

      1. I’m not sure why our trade representative in Los Angeles has any say in the matter. We have a Super City that was supposed to deliver joined up thinking and override the nimbys

        1. He is on the Planning Committee having a whinge about Bus Lanes when during the NATCO – Global Street Design Guide endorsement debate.

        2. Mixed him up with Williamson, my mistake. Both equally moronic dinosaurs. Easily done.

  4. Surely bus lanes along Pakuranga Rd (if that is what was meant by Howick bus priority) would be the ultimate example of a quick win that could probably be achieved now, I wonder why they would cost $237m.

    1. 64m, the 237m is for all the other Bus Lanes needed except Pak Rd, Route 31 Bus Lanes, the 40km of Bus Lanes currently funded as part of the LTP & the New Lynn – Otahuhu route.

      1. Ah right, that makes more sense. So there in the same league as the third main when it comes to quick wins that could be done now at relatively minimal expense.

        1. A extra rail line south – 3rd main- isnt a minimal expense, there is bridges and underpasses to be rebuilt and all the stations needing rebuild as well. As its done while an existing service is underway, the costs are bumped up again.
          An extra track would mainly benefit Kiwirail freight, not urban passengers. The frequency would have to 15-20 trains an hour peak before capacity is getting to 75%
          Just south of Middlemore the rail line over a major creek is a flood bottleneck- at 1% AEP it could flood a very large area- its likely all the rail bridges there would need rebuilding to increase flood capacity. There are hooks like this all the way through as the infrastructure can date back to the time the line was double tracked- 1930s?- and earlier

        2. While it might be only freight that will use it in the short term, it is essential to having 15 min frequencies on each line off peak, a requirement of the new bus network.

          My understanding was that is was costed at 55m, all the bridges are wide enough already (most were upgraded during electrification), the only significant obstacles are Middlemore station and agreeing who will pay for it.

        3. You only need it between Westfield-Wiri to begin with which is $58m.

          Except Kiwirail own the tracks not AT and approve the timetables so would simply say no because it would have a negative effects on their services.

          The funding would also as per the ATAP Supporting Docs would mostly come out of Crown Budgets not AC’s.

        4. Apart from Middlemore and Manurewa Stations the rest of the Southern Line is set up to lay down the Third Main. The electrification when it was built had this in mind and already Kiwi Rail are expanding the third main south of Otahuhu bit by bit

        5. Or, as some other countries do, run freight trains every night, and passenger only trains during the day.

        6. @ Guy M
          Many of our freight trains do run overnight including the premier Auckland-Wellington freight services 210 and 211, but these of necessity must depart, arrive, and pass through the Auckland and Wellington metro-areas slap in the middle of the peaks!

          Apart from these, the timetable-planners as far as possible avoid scheduling freights during the peaks but the reality is the freight routes south from Auckland are a 24hr operation, and the metro peaks are slowly expanding to occupy more of the day.

          We need that 3rd main, preferably 2 years ago at the latest !

        7. ” Middlemore and Manurewa Stations the rest of the Southern Line is set up to lay down the Third Main”

          A quick check from available google aerial maps shows this is not so. Papatoetoe has two sections in trenches under bridges that look like they will need to be replaced – St Georges and Bridge St.
          The only part that looks 3rd main ready is just north of Puhunui to Homai, where the new motorway bridges and connections to the train depot look ready for 3 tracks. Past Homai to Manurewa has a few old bridges to be replaced and widened for putting down another track.
          I havent checked past Manurewa to Papakura.

        8. Many sections are span proofed which means the span can be easily changed in the future rather than the bridges are ready ready.

        9. Just stopped by to add to the chorus of people who know what they’re talking about confirming that every bridge between Westfield and Wiri is ready for the Third Main. The only station to need major work is Middlemore. The only major earthworks are to widen the embankment just south of Middlemore. There is no locality prone to unusual flood risk in that section. The third main is of greatest benefit to AT’s passenger services by allowing express services and recovery from disruption. Secondly, Ports of Auckland to have greater access to their inland port at Wiri. Kiwirail own the tracks anyway so they aren’t going to short change themselves for someone else’s benefit unless they can charge access fees to make it worth their while. They, of course, should pay for it and charge their customers for the benefits.

        10. I know from using the Auckland Council GIS maps show the Gray Ave bridge just south of Middlemore creates a flood prone area behind it. There is a similar effect near the Portage Rd Papatoetoe area.
          Puhunui Crk further south has an even larger flood prone area behind the railway bridge. ( Thats exactly the place where the Manukau spur line connects to the main line) The area with flood risk extends back to Hayman Park and from Wiri Station Rd to north of Puhunui Rd

      2. Is the $64m for an actual centre running busway? I’d have though bus lanes would have been a few million at most, even on that route.

        1. If it’s painted lanes then $64m would be enough to buy all of the land, lay the pavement, and build extra lanes!

  5. ATAP recommened road pricing be implemented in the first decade why do the costs show up in the second. Are they not following their own recommendations?

      1. They are only spending 10% in D1, 90% in D2. That despite this key recommendation:

        “We recommend the early establishment of a dedicated project to progress smarter transport pricing with a view to implementation within the next 10 years.”

    1. Land isn’t much of the equation, the biggest expensive is earthworks, structures and construction managnement.

      $60m a kilometre sounds like a lot but when you have to retain the whole route, rebuild every bridge, etc, before you even start building the RTN, it adds up pretty quick.

      Same with motorways, simple fact is building transport infrastructure is very expensive.

      1. This motorway was supposed to have been built with additional lanes etc in mind.
        The actual corridor is pretty wide so shouldn’t need much additional land purchase (and would still leave enough land spare to widen the motorway by up to 4 lanes).
        The earth works over Albany hill are pretty much the only significant one’s to be done the rest should be quite easy to do. $1B is definitely very high (considering the original motorway to Orewa was built for less than that even including inflation). I’m guessing that part of the additional costs will be to build it to LR spec

      2. I don’t think you’d have to rebuild every bridge. New bridges yes. Enough room one the existing overbridges to dig out and retain to get the width. There aren’t many along there. It’s even pretty flat overall.

      1. Totally agree, this does my head in. Can transport corridors not be designated as part of plan changes?

        1. Yes, as parts of private plan changes. Not sure about planning generally, but I’d be very surprised it they could.

  6. Why are there some things list twice? As enhanced programmes and not. Are the costs to be added together?

  7. Underwhelming. So we the people are going to trust AT to sort out transport debacle? The people that leave you sitting at red lights when there are no vehicles in sight. If they can’t get that simple stuff right then no chance.

    I note that money in for the Greenlane interchange upgrade – where’s the questions about the first upgrade that failed and why? Who’s being held to account for that?

    When you think about the future and AT managing this, remember this: what happened with the well designed changes at auckland airport and the resulting traffic debacle? How about waterview and this slowly unfolding disaster? Total lack of accountability and ownership.

    How about money in budget to totally restructure AT to get the right outcomes for the people of Auckland???

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