Yesterday City Rail Link held their ‘Walk the Tunnels’ event for those lucky enough to get tickets. Thanks to some generous readers I managed to get some tickets and went along for a visit so thought I’d share some of my photos for those that didn’t manage to make it through.

There was definitely an event vibe to the whole thing with Britomart was sectioned off to separate those doing the walk from those using the station and even included bag checks.

After walking down the stairs to the platform level it was time to go behind the hoardings at the end of Platform 1 and into the new tunnels that have been built.

A ramp takes you down to the floor of the tunnel. This part of the tunnel also currently has parts for some of the new escalators stored in it as well as a temporary ventilation system which is in place while the tunnels are being built.

There is some falsework still in place as part of the tunnel construction. As I understand it, Thursday saw the final concrete pour for the tunnel roof so that’s a great milestone to reach.

Immediately after the falsework the tunnel starts to curve through the Commercial Bay site. It also noticeably starts to rise.

Just after the tunnel finishes its curve through Commercial Bay and starts its run up Albert St it was time to turn around via a safety cross-passage built into the tunnels. This left visitors gazing up the tunnel towards its current endpoint around Wyndham St. If the tunnels look wide it’s because they are, CRL say the internal dimensions vary but are typically 5.9m wide and 6.3m high but are wider around the bends so the trains can get through the curve.

It was then time to walk back down the other tunnel where CRL had placed a short exhibition of some of the history of transport in Auckland and of development of the rail network.

Unsurprisingly the return to Britomart was the carbon copy of the first side.

Along the walk were number of boxes recessed into the concrete that look like a space for subterranean art. These are spaces where fire suppression equipment will be installed in the future.

With the tunnels walked visitors where exited back out on to platform 5.

Thanks to all the staff who gave up their weekend to help pull off this public event. I think many of them will be rightfully proud of the work they’ve achieved so far and it’s great to be able to show that off to at least some of the public – and they say they want to hold more open days in the future.

CRL say the tunnels at the Britomart end will be fully completed early next year but work will continue on the station itself until early 2021.

As this phase starts to wind to a close, the next, bigger, stage is now starting to get underway. That has already started with demolition work around the Mt Eden station and future Karangahape Station, as well as services starting to be moved at Aotea. But next year that work will really start to be felt with a number of partial, full and permanent road closures. When they say partial closure they mean there will remain only one lane each way. The key impacts include:

  • The Wellesley St/Albert St intersection will be fully closed to vehicle traffic from March 2020 to December 2020. Wellesley St is a major bus route and AT are looking at rerouting buses via Mayoral Drive during this time.
  • Immediately after that the Victoria St/Albert St intersection will close until July 2022 – CRL consent conditions prevent both intersections being closed at the same time.
  • From Queens Birthday weekend next year till the end of 2024 the Mt Eden Station will close. Western Line trains will still run through the station but won’t be stopping. As I understand it, during this time the western line will be down to a single track that will be shifted around the construction site every few months so they can lower the line by as much as 4m as part of grade separating Normanby Rd and to accommodate the CRL tunnels This also means the station platforms will need to be completely demolished. One thing I’m a bit worried about is that we’ll see an increase in signal and track related delays.
    Either way 4½ years is an incredibly long time and means we’ll have two stations closed with Puhinui Station closed for two years while the new bus/train interchange is built. Based on the most recent HOP data we have, about 300,000 boardings at the station every year and about 355,000 alightings making it the 19th busiest station on the network and putting it right in the middle of the pack, of 40 stations. There will be some mitigation but it is hard to mitigate everything.

While the intersections being closed will certainly be disruptive, overall the construction of the Aotea Station should be less disruptive than what we’ve seen on Albert St to date. That’s because it will be built using a top-down method where after the piles have been drilled, they will basically bridge over the site and mine out underneath it as opposed to the open trench that Albert St was. This is also what happened on the Customs St intersection.

They said that during the peak of construction there will be about 200 truck movements a day across the three sites combined. The big physical works of the station boxes and tunnels will be completed at some point in 2022 but it will take till 2024 to fit out the stations and tunnels as well as conduct all the testing that will be needed.

Of course on top of this there are many other localised disruptions for construction works such as new buildings and other road/public space upgrades, like along the waterfront.

Finally, on Friday CRL also released this cute new video of the project.

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  1. A fantastic initiative utterly destroyed by announcing the insane decision to completely close Mt. Eden station for four (and the rest with inevitable delays) years.

    Mt Eden is an absolutely critical station for the train network. Surely there has to be a way to keep the platform open.

    1. Agree Sanctuary.
      Even building a temporary platform out of scaffolding etc around Ngahura St shouldn’t be hard (especially if it’s going down to one track!).
      Yes overseas they close stations down for large amounts of time but in almost all cases that is because they have plenty of other stations nearby.

      1. Well, I read here they plan to have just one line that they’ll move around (cue massive reduction in the reliability of the Western Line service, you can depend on being unable to depend on it for four years). But if they can move the track surely they can knock up a movable platform as well? The trains have doors on both sides, don’t they? The temporary platform could be on either side of the train? It only has to be a temporary affair, and if need be for restricted (say 7am-7pm) hours.

        If the will existed then a way would be found to keep the station open. IMHO, this just reinforces the well founded opinion of many that AT regard it’s customers as little more than an inconvenient collection of cattle interfering with their plans.

        1. As you say, having a section of single track will reduce the speed and reliability of the Western Line. However surely having a station on this section of single track would make the situation even worse?

      2. The last thing we need is a station on the single section of track. If frequencies are going to stay at 10 mins then trains need to spend the shortest amount of time possible on this section.

    2. Sanctuary, it’s a be hard to see how they could leave any part of Mt Eden station operational give, as the article state, the line is to be lowered about 4 metres to grade separate it from Normanby Rd, plus given there s basically a completely new station to be built.
      The only way to have tried to maintain a Mt Eden station would be to build a temporary station either before or after the works area, but then again there are already station within a stones throw of were any temporary would need to be built, so probably a total waste of effort and better to offer a shuttle service between Grafton, Mt Eden and Morning side.

      1. “… but then again there are already station within a stones throw….”

        Yes and no on this. Yes, there are near(ish) stations but no – Mt. Eden in my observation is heavily used as a transfer point with the bus stops on the road above, as well as being important for ppl who train to Mt Eden from the ‘burbs to pick up the airbus from here.

    3. How critical is Mt Eden really, though? What journey is significantly affected given the number of buses that run from Kingsland and Newmarket that also go to Eden Terrace?

      1. I guess my response is how much is the whole greater than the sum of it’s parts?

        Let’s take a potential scenario of an unreliable western line and no Mt. Eden station for four-five years (because delays) who is going to be left to enjoy the CRL in four-five years?

        I am not privy to the AT decision making process, but I wonder sometimes if they fully understand how people use the network. I know people who use the inner city suburbs as a sort of park and ride, school kids who transfer at places like mt. Eden to walk or be picked up, etc etc. It seems to me that Mt. Eden station – being on a key arterial road with some good pick up/drop off options is used by a whole lot of people for all sorts of reasons other than a pure end to end PT trip.

        1. It will be CRL who are closing the station and I’m sure it would have had plenty of interrogation by AT and others. The reality is there will almost certainly be speed restrictions and combined with a single track I imagine it’s going to be very tricky maintain the current 10 minute timetable – which they’re intending to do.
          Also we’ve had temporary platforms before but they generally didn’t move (Avondale/Newmarket) or moved only once or twice (New Lynn) across many years and also didn’t have the issue of also needing to change the access to the station (I assume they’ll probably need to take out the ramp to Mt Eden Ed too).
          When you put all the factors together it makes it seem very difficult and likely expensive to keep it open when most trips can likely be dealt with via a relatively simple transfer

        2. Agree Mt Eden is an important station but it is likely there were two options here:

          a) close Mt Eden station and maintain 10 min frequencies on the Western line

          b) have a temporary station and reduce Western line frequencies to 15 mins.

          Bear in mind a temporary station would have to have been further away from Mt Eden Rd anyway so transfers would not have been as effective.

          I think on balance CRL/AT etc have made the right call here.

        3. Agree. Right decision. And bus connectivity at both Kingsland and Grafton are good, and could be enhanced….eg the 20 from Kingsland is a bit of a sleeper in this regard, western line users will work this out (proactive comms would be good too, though).

      2. Intentionally or unintentionally, AT nearly have the solution on the table already.

        Last week we had a story here about the Outer Link having its Dominion Road/Mount Eden dogleg removed, with a part of this route being replaced by the 650 from Valley Road to Newmarket via Mount Eden Road and Khyber Pass Road. The 650 might eventually extend from Valley Road through to Kingsland station.

        While I commented I didn’t think this was a patch on the original proposed Cross Town 5, if the 650 does run to Kingsland station, then it effectively fills in the gap left by the interim closing of Mount Eden station.

        It’s also relatively easy to extend to Kingsland station (rather than Kingsland itself) if the bus stop on Sandringham Road (currently opposite the station) is moved to the opposite side of Walters Road, outside Eden Park. The 650 can then turn left out of Walters Road for its terminating stop. It can then loop round the park via Reimers Road back onto Walters Road to start its next run.

    4. Ah, the engineering experts are out in force this morning. Never fails to amuse me that blog contributors on whatever blog touching on technical issues are always much better placed to make key decisions than the people who have been hired to do the job.

        1. +1

          And engineering truthers never seem to think through construction sequencing, methodology, critical path – and of course the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 will have no small part in this decision.
          Providing for safe passenger access through a busy construction worksite where the track and platform have to be regularly moved and reassembled would add risk and likely lengthen the build programme.

      1. Your point about the armchair observers is well made, but I wonder if the deafening silence from those responsible for the decision making process might have been mitigated by communicating some more detail to group of people who sit on a spectrum from interested through passionate to committed.

        The void is being filled, although probably not in the most constructive way.

      2. Well said.
        At least there’s no conspiracy theory this time. I’m not saying who but some of the posts on the article from a couple of days ago about moving the port had me shaking my head. The fact that the Auckland port seems to be dying a natural death anyway seemed to be totally lost on them.

    5. Mt Eden will certainly be a critical station once the CRL is running and the associated development of the immediate neighbourhood really ramps up but right now I’m not sure it’s much busier really than the two adjacent stations – Kingsland and Grafton. As a regular user of both Mt Eden and Kingsland stations it seems that Kingsland is the busier of the two.
      Closing it for 4 years is far from ideal though and given that it was only built a few years ago I wonder why they didn’t locate it temporarily a bit further to the west to allow for the new station to be built without closing the current one?

      1. Are you thinking of Grafton as the station that was built a few years ago?
        I thought Mt Eden station had been there for years.

        1. Sorry yes you’re right. For some reason I thought Mt Eden was the new station not Grafton. It was rebuilt though a few years ago.

    6. Surely a temporary platform can be built near by? Not like AT couldn’t have planned it before.

      PT remains a hobby in this city, nothing more serious.

    7. They wouldn’t shut down a station like that unless out of necessity.
      Although I do think that 3 and a half years sounds rather prolonged…

      1. If you shut a not so insignificant platform like Mt Eden that leaves the users to their own devices then PT really just is a frivolous silly little thing that we don’t really need.

        It is 100% unacceptable that a well established platform like Me Eden simply ceases to exist because no one at AT can be arsed with a useable temporary alternative.

        Just like the never ending mess of relocating North Shore bus stops in downtown Auckland and the shambolic footpaths. The user always comes last. I promise, this city is not serious about PT and its no wonder the preferred made of travel is the car.

        1. I’m not sure there is a useable solution. Any temporary station that is off the single tracked section is likely to be too far from Mt Eden Road to be any use for transfers.

          I agree though that four years seems a long time.

        2. To repeat: They’re only doing this out of necessity. If you want the CRL; sacrifices like this need to be made.
          Besides; Grafton Station isn’t far away. Within walking distance for people coming/going to the east of Mt Eden station.

          It clearly was acceptable for them to not find “a useable temporary alternative”; because the people who call the shots accepted it. This “a useable temporary alternative” would still need signals, access points, possible demolition, etc thus costing millions and would only get 3 and a half years worth of usage. A lot more people would (rightly in my opinion) get annoyed over that.

          As for the rest of your complaints about footpaths & bus stops; they’re really not on-topic and surely you know by now that whinging is the worst way to expend your energy?

        3. Nice one Daniel, who really cares about the PT users? I mean how dare they “whinge”, damned upstarts, can’t they just accept the shitty alternatives at best or the nothing at worst AT offer?

          Me, like the majority will stick to the comfort and pure convenience of my car instead.

      2. If any of you had been following the CRL on their web site this trenching had been planned along . It would have been a different story if they were still using the old SA/SD or the DMU’s . All the gantries have to be lowered so the EMU’s can still run , and the trench maybe 4 metres deep but the length of the trench at a rough guess will be around 2km long . So the moaners out there , there a heck alot of more work to be done than just digging a hole .

        Each time they dig down there has to be drainage work done , the overhead wires extended the track lengthened propping of either said of the trench so the track does not fall into each other similar to what they did at New Lynn and from what I understand that platform was moved around 3-4 times before the permanent one was opened , and that all happened before electrification so this time it’s harder to do

        1. I’m under no illusions that the northern entrance to the CRL will require extensive complex works, especially given that it will need an existing rail corridor to remain in operation. It’s also going to be where what’s being tunneled-away will be extracted from. I’d expect at the very least; least two years of works.

          But 3 in a half years still seems… …a very long time frame.

  2. I enjoyed the walk. It was short but it was good to get a sense of the scale. The slight incline and decline was noticeable even underfoot before you could really perceive it. It’s hard to imagine Britomart as a dead end anymore, yet we put up with it being that way for decades.

    So the way I see it, APEC is 2021 and the CRL opens in 2024, probably a little bit later. That gives us four years to build some other services to connect with it – alternative networks, better connections to local communities and stations, bus concourses and shelters etc, to really make the most of it when it does open.

      1. The car rules Auckland and will do so until we stop stuffing about with the current system of slow buses, CRL notwithstanding.

        Hence we are 11th worst in the world for PT although I note AT disagree. They would.

  3. The tunnels are huge. Smell of concrete dust. A few small water leaks in the seaward tunnel. The walk was short thou. Looked like a walk up Albert st would have been possible. There were some noticeable changes in construction of the ceiling, presumably at changes of contract. Just prior to re-entering britomart there was an old cut pile in the ceiling.

    1. “A few small water leaks in the seaward tunnel.”
      I sincerely hope you’re wrong about that.
      Because the last thing anyone wants to happen is excess water getting into the concrete.

  4. The introduction of the horse-buses in 1850 was a major step forward for transport in Auckland. Before that horses had to walk the whole way from Onehunga to Queen Street.

  5. Mount Eden passengers will just have to get used to it just like Westfield passengers who were in a worse position because Westfield closed for good and Southdown too for that matter. And Puhinui as well. I see the 349 bus has only a few passengers but good to see it there although surely it could take a more direct route. Meanwhile the overflow park and ride next to New World and the relocated old Papatoetoe railway station is filling up nicely. No increase in bike numbers from zero to zero though. It would be interesting to see where these passengers are driving from. Maybe Auckland Transport should have a policy of reopening a station if it closes another one for an extended period. So reopen Westfield a lot of workers at the abattoirs are parking their cars all over the place on Portage road. I see there is going to be a shuttle bus from Mount Eden to Newmarket. I can see a lot of moaning and petitions when that service is discontinued in 2028 when the CRL is finally finished.

        1. Are you? There are plenty of southern men and women who have benefited from the closure of Westfield, as they now have one less stop on their journey.

        2. It cuts your options to be able to move around your community. The way AT has set up the bus network means the railway is not a commuter railway anymore. A passenger from Papakura to Westfield has to travel to Otahuhu either by bus or train then either has to catch another bus or walk. And ditto to get to any locations served by the old Southdown station. The railway completely cuts any walking or cycling connection between Otahuhu and Onehunga and makes an absolute mockery of the cycle walk way around the harbour from Hugo Johnston drive. The cycleway you have to drive your car to to use. Crazy stuff.

        3. Turns out there is a lot of Southern people.

          The isthmus may be dense, but it is growing relatively slowly. It has now been overtaken by South Auckland in terms of density.

        4. Over time Manukau will become Aucklands CDB especially after the Port moves North. With improved rail and road links to the south and easy access to the airport. The water view tunnel has brought the industrial area around Rosebank Road into the South Auckland transport hub.

        5. If they were to build a walking and cycling bridge over the railway at Bell Avenue to connect with the cycleway and Hugo Johnstone drive at least that would be something. And yes that section of
          Great South road needs a footpath. And a bus which starts at Otahuhu township and goes to the Otahuhu Railway station then down Salesyard road to Great South Road and then to Onehunga via Church street and Neilson Street then that would be a start.

        6. It doesn’t go down Neilson Street it also goes to Otahuhu town center before it heads down great south road to Church Street. So not exactly.

  6. So how many train sets could we store up these tunnels until the rest of the CRL gets built. Lay some track and install some overheads and signals and fire them out of Britomart in the afternoon peak. At least it might slow the graffiti artists.

    1. I wonder whether it might even be possible to open Aotea station in a limited capacity a year or two before the rest of the CRL? Perhaps have every second Southern and Western line train continue past Britomart to Aotea as soon as that is possible (effectively two single tracks beyond platforms 1 and 5 at Britomart). Offset them so there is an 8 / 12 minute frequency between the two stations (based on the current timetable). I doubt you could do it with every train, even with 3 minutes between stations any delay would cause blockages.

  7. The walk through was amazing , not as crowded as I thought it was going to be .

    My only complaint is there was no-one around that could answer questions from the public . They all seemed to have disappeared by the time afternoon came around .

    The question that I wanted answered was , when they start Aotea Station is , what the distance is between the bottom of the new station to the top of the Vector tunnel which pass at that point . For those that don’t know the Vector tunnel comes across from Hobson st at that point then turns off at Mayoral Drive . It’s just that the piles they are putting may be fairly close to the bottom tunnel and as it supplies the power cables coming into the city .

  8. One thing I noticed from Te displays they had is the new Mt Eden station is only going to have 4 platforms.
    Two for the East West traffic as there is now and two for the CRL west traffic, but nothing for the CRL east traffic.
    If this is the case surely it’s a little short sighted as it will mean that you’d have to make sure you were catching the right train to alight at Mt Eden.

    1. The line running east out of the CRL doesn’t go through Mt Eden station, it leaves the CRL and the inner western line well before Mt Eden.

      It’s not an oversight it’s just the reality of a large triangle junction.

      1. An extra set of platforms for CRL eastern traffic would be redundant anyway given that it would be near Boston Rd and thus in close proximity to Grafton Station.

        1. I would have thought that a Eastern Mt Eden station would have made sense for people travelling from out south. They could then alight at Mt Eden, but with the present design they need to alight at either Newmarket or Grafton and then change to a west bound train.
          Looking at the layout of the Mt Eden station and interconnecting tracks, it looks like a set of platforms could be build close to Mt Eden Rd, effectively creating a second station within the area, Mt Eden West. There would be little or no need for those platforms to be connected to the other two sets, although some sort of walkway between them would allow for any that do need to interconnect.

        2. There is a south to west (and vice-versa) service that will allow a single ride from the south to Mt Eden.

          From memory the eastern track coming into the CRL in the vicinity of Mt Eden will be lower than the eastern track coming out to allow it to pass under the western tracks. This would make a station challenging and difficult to justify when there is a south to west service operating.

        3. @Robert Dew
          Where near Mt Eden Rd could platforms be built? To the west of it; the chord will be far too tight and to the east of it; there’s not enough space for platforms before the points connecting to the western line and the clearances that points need.
          The only place left is close to Boston Rd, possibly under the viaduct. But as I’ve pointed-out; that would be pointless as Grafton station is already close enough proximity. Building this would probably also mean removing Grafton station which in my opinion is in a better place than Mt Eden station is anyway.
          In fact; Grafton Station has always been very close to Mt Eden station as it is

  9. Light Rail to Mt Roskill should be up and running by 2021, 4 years as we were promised! That should mitigate some of the issues of having Mt Eden station closed for 4 years.

  10. It’s hard to comment without knowing how long the single track section will be but I think it is a bold call (but probably the right one) by AT to maintain 10 min frequencies on the Western line.

    It would be interesting to know how they plan to handle this, whether they will add some fat to the Western line timetable to reduce knock-on effects from conflicting trains on this section or whether they will just cancel some services as soon as there are issues.

    1. The real problem is lots of $$$$$$$$ for little patronage. And just so a few can have a single seat journey…
      Either catch the infrequent South to West service or change at K-Rd

    2. Sorry Robert, but you wouldn’t see them built there. Take a look at the “Mt Eden indicative tunnel/track alignment” image on this page:
      As we can see: Not only are there NOT enough clearances for any platforms but the southbound tunnel heading east will be on a steep incline.

      Things in this world happen for a reason. They haven’t considered any station platforms where you’d like them because it’s just not feasible.

      1. Nothing wrong with stations on a steep gradient and a tight curve. Works fine at Crofton Downs, Awarua Street and Box Hill on the Johnsonville Line. Each of these stations is on a gradient of 1 in 40 and a curve of 200m radius. But no doubt “modern standards” have declared this undesirable.
        Unfortunately a whole long list of ‘nice-to-have’ standards now being insisted upon as essential are pushing the cost of new railway initiatives through the roof.

        1. The gradient and curve in these tunnels will a lot more extreme than those examples. Furthermore; this station would have to be underground which introduces more undesirability associated with any platform gradient.

          But this is all academic; as these platforms that Robert Dew wants would be completely redundant anyway. If you want to get to the South from Mt Eden; you will just catch a south-to-west service train and of course it’s the same in the other direction. And if you’re going to other way but realise you’ve caught the wrong train (one that goes into the CRL tunnel); you can just either get off and catch the right one at a station like Newmarket or just get off at Grafton.

          And furthermore if you’re in the CRL and want to get to Mt Eden; you’d just catch a westbound train.

          There is absolutely no need for these platforms he wants

        2. The Matangi units are a bit shorter than the AMU’s so can handle tighter curves.

          There is a good reason for standards, otherwise you end up with situations like Wellington where the entire fleet is governed by the size of the tunnels and curves on the Johnsonville line.

          Standards can of course be ignored, the Aotea and K Rd platforms are not level, however it is very hard to see any justification of an east facing platform at Mt Eden, it is a solution looking for a problem.

        3. “the Aotea and K Rd platforms are not level,”
          I have to confess: I had no idea that’s the case. Surely it’s not going to be very much of a gradient?

        4. I think an east facing station at Mt Eden is desirable as though an easy transfer it would allow us to not waste up track space by running West-South services meaning the better frequencies for all. But desirable and practical to build are two different things.

        5. @ Matt L:
          How is running west-south services “using up track space”? If there’s a demand for them; why not just run them?

        6. Because there isn’t demand to fill them up as a frequent service, and they won’t attract any demand if they aren’t frequent.

          In either case you’ll be using train sets, staff and slots on the timetable to move almost empty trains.

          I’d give it 50% odds they never even start the service, and 50% chance it’s pulled within the first three months and the train put on city runs instead.

        7. @Riccardo
          On what basis do you declare that there will be no demand for even a 30 minute frequency service between the South and the West? Especially if it’s the only way for people from the South to get to the Mt Eden interchange?
          If you need to take the train between the west and the south; you’re not going to want to go through the CRL.

        8. There will be next to no demand especially if it is a 30 minute service, because it will be faster to just take a regular train and change at Karangahape.

          You are quite wrong that it’s the only way for people from the south to get to Mt Eden station, they can just catch any regular frequent southern train to Karangahape and step across the platform to a regualr, frequent western train one station further to Mt Eden.

          The demand for trips between the primarily suburban west and south is pretty minimal as it is, we know that from the current patronage data.

          Then add in the fact that the proposed west to south line only runs from Henderson to Otahuhu, so it actually only serves half the stations on the west and south, so you’ve halved the already minimal market.

          Then add in the fact it’s actually faster to just transfer between the regular high frequency southern and western lines one station along at Karangahape… who exactly is left to catch this line?

          People who live in the suburbs between Henderson and Otahuhu only *and* want to travel to another suburban destination between Henderson and Otahuhu only *and* are happy to wait longer for an infrequent service so they don’t have to make a cross platform transfer. I’ll eat my hat if you can fill up even two trains an hour each way.

          Note that because those two an hour each way hit the peak direciton both ways, you’re actually using up four peak direction slots on the timetable.

          It would be far better just to use those trains, drivers and slots to run more frequency on the main lines. That means more trains to the city as well as faster connections for people transferring from south to west and vice versa, so it’s better for everyone.

        9. It’s somehow going to be faster to go down the CRL, get off at the Karangahape station (which could well be crowded) and then wait for a service taking you back the way you came than to… …completely bypass the CRL and shave 5-10 minutes.
          Yup right you are mate.
          As someone who has considerable experience using underground railways stations to commute: I would think that people would especially for a service that saved them the arseache and added time of this hypothetical interchange ant Kairangahape station.

          As for your claims about demand; Mt Eden Station is set to become a major interchange. Furthermore; there are long terms plans to further develop Mt Eden & Newmarket and develop New Lynn. In a decade’s time (when the effects of the CRL are shaping up); there could well be considerably more employment in both of those centres and thus more reason for people to want to take a train to and from them.
          And Otahuhu station where this will terminate will also be connected to frequent service heading further south to Manukau & Papakura and to the east.

          For example; Someone could be in their late teens/early 20’s and live in the west, don’t have their own automobile (or possibly even their drivers license yet). But this service would make getting to a course at the Polytech in Manukau or employment opportunities in Newmarker, Mt Eden or wherever else a lot more convenient and worthwhile commuting to.
          And I think this example is very realistic.

        10. You realise that line wouldn’t go to Manukau right? Your westie student will simply change trains in the CRL.

          With your extensive experience with using underground rail to commute, you didn’t change lines to get around? What city are you commuting in?

        11. Riccardo did you not read my reply properly? To repeat:
          And Otahuhu station where this will terminate will also be connected to frequent service heading further south to Manukau & Papakura and to the east.

          Did you get it that time? Or do I have to elaborate that people would transfer at Otahuhu?

          And yes of course I transfer between different lines at stations. But I avoid doing it at underground stations if I can because they’re generally crowded and often stuffy. In fact; I try and spend as little time as possible withing underground stations.
          Why would I add time to my journey and subject myself to unpleasant crowds if I can avoid it altogether?

        12. I read it, I just don’t understand why you think anyone would make that transfer.

          Why would anyone wait for a 30 minute service to go to Otahuhu to transfer to a frequent service, when they could catch the regular frequent western line and transfer to the refusal frequent eastern line in the CRL?

          And in the way back, you expect people to go to Otahuhu then wait up to 30 minutes at the station for a connection? Why do you expect people to waste so much time?

        13. Isn’t the west-south, the purple service, now Onehunga-Henderson? A change made precisely to not waste CRL slots on 3-car sets. So anyone travelling west to Manukau and using it would have to make two transfers versus one via CRL, and that of course at higher frequencies… purple is looking really redundant (Daniel, for all his self professed experience, doesn’t seem to understand the role of frequency in route decisions).

          The purple is looking increasingly like a glorified school bus service for the plush Newmarket schools, it’s great to get kids on PT, perhaps they should just run it at school hours…?

        14. “I read it, I just don’t understand why you think anyone would make that transfer.”
          If you read it then why (in earth) did you ask me if I realised that the train doesn’t go to Manukau? I was giving you the benefit of the doubt with assuming that you didn’t read it properly, thus you asking me that must mean you’re a bit slow and didn’t immediately appreciate the obvious that at Otahuhu a transfer could be made.
          You’d make that transfer for the same reason you’d make your transfer at Karangahape station and other tother transfer: To get to where you need to go. You’d prefer it over your Karangahape road because it could be a shorter transit time and would save you from the arseache of transferring in a crowded underground station.

          “Why would anyone wait for a 30 minute service to go to Otahuhu to transfer to a frequent service, when they could catch the regular frequent western line and transfer to the refusal frequent eastern line in the CRL?”
          I suppose you’re having to hang to this “30 minute” thing because it was the bare minimum frequency I stated, that’s how bereft of an argument you are.
          I’ve already stated why; because it would save anyone the 5-10 extra time and arseache of having to make that transfer at Karangahape station.
          Are you just going to stonewall this instead of conceding you’re wrong?

          “And in the way back, you expect people to go to Otahuhu then wait up to 30 minutes at the station for a connection? Why do you expect people to waste so much time?”
          That “up to 30 minutes could be a whopping 2 minutes for plenty of commuters.
          I should be asking you why do you expect people to waste so much time transferring at Karagahape road?

        15. ‘Are you just going to stonewall this instead of conceding you’re wrong?’

          In fairness it’s an approach that’s worked quite well for you

        16. @DaveN
          I have no idea what the latest hypothetical east-west service is (nor why you’ve memorised the hypothetical colours). But to yet again point out the obvious: No, someone from the west wanting to get to Manahau wouldn’t need two transfers because this person could transfer at another station on the line before the Onehunga branch, like Newmarket.

          “Daniel, for all his self professed experience, doesn’t seem to understand the role of frequency in route decisions”
          Yah okay. Good luck with that.

        17. Daniel – they would need two transfers as services from Manukau run via the Eastern line so do not share track with Onehunga services at any point.

        18. I would think Jezza, that I would level that one at you not the other way around. If I recall correctly: It was you who kept insisting that they’d be able to fit the light rail to the airport in the corridor safeguarded for the Avondale-Southdown link even though the very satellite images showed the tiny clearances. If that was someone else I apologise in advance.
          Well didn’t they announce recently that that corridor is no-go? Like I all-along said it would be?

          No, I really don’t stonewall at all. I look at the facts and then draw conclusions. A bit different from deciding upon a conclusion (in Riccardo’s case out of share negativity) and then trying to shoehorn the facts to towards that conclusion, don’t you think?

        19. @Jezza: Oh but if DaveN is going to decide that the east-west service will go to Onehunga instead of Otahuhu I can also decide that services to Manukau will not go via the eastern line anymore. I’m going to declare this service the grey line.

        20. Who announced that ASL is a no go, other than a couple of commenters on here? I certainly haven’t seen any references showing that it has been ruled out.

        21. Okay, maybe only Winston Peters is saying that that the safeguarded corridor is a no-go.
          But the expert they headhunted from aborad is still fundamentally questioning the entire project. Doesn’t that at least say something?

        22. wow, quite the thread: Daniel could it be, just sometimes, some people here are better informed than you? I mean, isn’t the point of allowing anonymous comments, so people actually working on these things can add stuff?

        23. I was discussing how there would be a use for a west to south service.
          For some reason Jezza decided to derail it by implying that I’m a hypocrite and now the whole gang are even more mysteriously jumping on me on some off-topic nonsense.
          Not sure how you think it’s my fault. Or if you figured this would get under my skin 😉 …

        24. In a thread about crosstown rail you brought light rail using ASL into it, yet you suggest I derailed it. That in a nutshell is why no-one takes you seriously.

        25. And I’m going to lose sleep over whether people on some online blog take me seriously or not, am I? We’ll see what this headhunted light rail chief ends up doing (*cough* cancelling it altogether) and that’s what matters.
          People seem to take me seriously enough to keep trying to salvage their positions whenever I call them out.

          I was discussing a west to south link. It was you who derailed it. I suppose some people live in small worlds of petty grudges (*shrugs*)…

  11. Curves at Quay Park are sharper than anything on the Wellington network (<100m radius IIRC).
    But shorter carriages will generally have less of a gap problem at curved platforms due to less centre overhang &/or end throw (assuming the line is not also used by stock with a larger loading gauge).

    1. Yes Auckland’s loading gauge is clearly more generous/larger than Wellington’s. Which of course also means more clearances needed.

      1. Yep, could end up with crazy platform gaps on curved platforms given the extra carriage length. Maybe even bigger than the ~60cm gaps at the old Muri Station on the Wellington network (closed for safety reasons).
        The Wellington network loading gauge is limited by the curved tunnels on the J’ville line (particularly Tunnel 1), longer/wider stock have/can run on other parts of the network (e.g. Silver Fern Railcars, GT class car wagons). Be interesting to see whether replacement stock for Wairarapa & Manawatu services is longer, wider or less tubular than the Matangi units (as it will not have to fit on the J’ville line).

        1. I’m expecting that the future Wairarapa stock to stick to the same loading gauge as the Matangi’s even if they don’t run the Johnsonville line. Platform heights and lengths across the network fit this loading gauge. That’s why there’s a considerable and undesirable gap between the SW carriage doors and the platform at Wellington. It’s not as though the Wellington network’s smaller loading gauge is causing any restrictions in capacity for the EMU services.

        2. Er – Jezza and GK, the Johnsonville Line Tunnels were altered (floor-lowered) to suit the shape of the Matangis, not the other way round. The overall dimensions of the Matangis were chosen to be similar to the former Ganz Mavag units which did not operate on the Johnsonville Line. I am not sure if longer units were considered at the time of specifying the Matangis, and I don’t believe the Johnsonville tunnels were the sole determinant of what was settled-on.
          The extra 3.5m per-car of the Auckland units translates to an average of 3.5 extra seats-per-car as compared to the Matangis, and an extra 5.5 standing passengers-per-car when fully-loaded. An average of 9 extra passengers per-car. This difference is not huge, and is arithmetically slightly-less than the proportional extra car-length.
          Bottom-line: I don’t believe Wellington is disadvantaged by having 21.5m car-lengths instead of 24m like Auckland. True, we are limited to 8-car maximum consist-length (as-compared with Auckland’s proposed 9-car), but this has nothing to do with the Johnsonville Line which is separately restricted by platform-lengths to 6-cars.

        3. My arithmetic is a bit out. The CAF units are only 2.5m longer than the Matangis, not 3.5m as stated above.
          Oh, and they are 30mm wider. Fairly trivial differences really.

        4. @ Dave:
          Yes, it’s true that the J-ville line’s tunnels were enlargened so the Matangi units could safely run in them.
          But the fact remains that the Wellington suburban EMU system does run on a tighter loading gauge to Auckland’s. The Wellington system’s tubular profile allows some overlap over the platform edges and platform heights are lower. It also allows more curvature of the platforms.
          The Matangis were designed within the loading gauge of the network.

          And nobody ever even implied that the Wellington system is disadvantaged. The Wellington network/system has plenty of room for any capacity increase should the need ever arise and the loading gauge is highly unlikely to ever become any bottleneck. There are plenty of metros and suburban rail systems around the world with high capacity which run on smaller loading gauges than the Wellington system. If anything; it will be an advantage if the network is ever expanded as it allows smaller tunnels and corner chords.

          At the end of the day; the Wellington system was designed around the restrictions of the J-ville line and what was most convenient in 1936. The Auckland system was designed around its existing network. Both systems function more than adequately.

        5. Dave, the maximum length of carriages is indeed limited by the curvature of tunnel 1, lowering made little difference. Also the length etc of the Ganz carriages were chosen for a reason. Even towed up the J’ville line for gauging purposes with ventilators removed. I understand that adhesion issues were why the Ganz up to J’ville project never proceeded.
          Longer Matangi unit carriages were not considered as fitting through the lowered J’ville tunnels was part of the specs.

  12. I’m expecting that the future Wairarapa stock to stick to the same loading gauge as the Matangi’s even if they don’t run the Johnsonville line. Platform heights and lengths across the network fit this loading gauge. That’s why there’s a considerable and undesirable gap between the SW carriage doors and the platform at Wellington. It’s not as though the Wellington network’s smaller loading gauge is causing any restrictions in capacity for the EMU services.

  13. Daniel,
    Standard platform height differences between Auckland & Wellington are of little relevance, the difference is 20mm. Overhanging the platform edge is a standard feature of KiwiRail’s loading gauge.

    1. Okay. What about transferring at another station (Newmarket)?
      At the end of the day; it’s not as much of a problem as trying to fit platforms at Mt Eden along the alignment to head to the southern line.

  14. If I read it right, he was head hunted for NZTA, isn’t that the organisation that made such a mess of comparing their option to that of their opponents that the project was taken from them and handed to the Ministry of Transport.
    So if they are now just another contender for the design and build, surely whatever their, or his, thoughts are on the subject are kind of immaterial.

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