Here’s our weekly roundup.

Survey on Incidents involving small electric vehicles in Auckland

Transport consultancy Abley are currently running a survey looking at incidents small electric devices such as e-scooters, e-bikes and e-scateboards.

Have you had or witnessed an incident or near miss in Auckland involving an e-micromobility vehicle (e-scooter, e-bike, e-skateboard, hoverboard, or Segway)? You may either have been the rider or another party, and we would like to learn what happened. Note that unpowered vehicles are excluded from this survey (so no push scooters nor traditional human powered bicycles).

Survey responses will inform a study by Transport consultancy Abley into the safety of e-micromobility in Auckland. The aim is to better understand what makes e-micromobility safe or unsafe, including behaviour and infrastructure. The study looks at everyone’s safety (both riders and non-riders). The findings will be submitted to Auckland Transport as an evidence base and with associated recommendations. It will inform future policies and interventions to make e-micromobility safer for everyone in Auckland.

If you know anyone else who also had or saw an incident, please send them the link so they can report it. Thank you in advance for your support!


I have seen some comments online already about this suggesting AT should know what’s needed etc. However, this survey isn’t really about that, it’s looking at the issues specific to electric devices, such as they sometimes catch new users as well as other road users by surprise due to their fast acceleration etc.

Ash St Macrocarpa

A month ago a tree in Avondale became the latest flashpoint in the housing discussion with protesters opposing it’s removal which threatened a 117 unit development by Ockham, even though the developer had planned to plant many more trees on the site as part of the development.

The goods news is the development is now moving ahead. This from one of those that were fighting for the tree.

We made an appeal to the developer to meet with us to discuss options for altering their design to keep ‘Big Mac’ standing. To us, it seemed wrong that this notable tree was not being incorporated into their housing development.

What became clear over ensuing weeks was that a design change was not a minor but a major prospect. Furthermore, over 78 of the 117 apartments were already sold and the main investor was a collective of iwi.

The only way to potentially save this tree was to stop the project in its tracks and find funds to take them and Council to court, thereby locking things up for a year or more to try and force Ockham-Marutūāhu back to the drawing board. That would cost all parties tens of thousands of dollars and hit the iwi investors hard. It would cost the 78 families and individuals who had already purchased an apartment in stress, uncertainty and money. It would absorb our movement’s resources in a pitched battle over a single, magnificent tree.

We decided we were not prepared to do that.


They agreed that if we were to remove our platform and ropes and custom-built kitchen bench, and the tree was to go, that they would work with us and Council to have at least 13 notable, local trees scheduled in the Whau. That they would make a tribute to the mac as part of their development


The urban ngahere is lost one tree at a time, but we can’t save it one tree at a time. One-third of Auckland’s canopy has been destroyed in under a decade since tree protection was revoked by John Key. Our movement is forced to fight on the front line because the Council and Government have failed to protect trees. The solution is certain. We need a return to general tree protection urgently.

It’s good to see this resolved and with a pragmatic outcome meaning the housing can go ahead.

Western Line not back to normal as planned

You may recall that just two weeks ago Auckland Transport announced when trains would return to ‘normal’ speeds. The Southern and Onehunga Lines are now back and the Western Line was meant to be the next with normal speeds resuming on 22 February and the Eastern Line on 1 March.

Unfortunately it appears that date may be wrong and the just published Western Line timetable for that week retains the slow and infrequent service we’ve seen since August.

I’m assuming this isn’t just some error on AT’s part and that Kiwirail have again changed things as they continue to work on de-stressing the tracks as yesterday they announced they’ve finishing the track replacement work on the electrified network.

From this week, current planned rail replacement work between Swanson and Papakura has been finished, meaning trains can return to their 10-minute frequencies during peak across the entire Auckland network. KiwiRail teams are working at night to destress the new rail and to carry out other finishing work to avoid impacting daytime services.

“So far we have replaced more than 112km of damaged rail which is 84 per cent of the required re-railing work overall. At the same time, we’ve replaced close to 20,500 sleepers and destressed 95km of rail track.

“We fully appreciate the disruption this has caused Aucklanders and thank them for their patience as we carried out this urgent work.

The replacement work is now focusing on Papakura to Pukekohe with services not running on weekends.

Trains will not run between Papakura and Pukekohe on weekends from Saturday 13 February to Sunday 28 March, with Auckland Transport running rail replacement buses. Buses will also replace trains on this line from 9pm weeknights.

Te Huia has a date

Meanwhile in other rail news, it’s been announced that the new Te Huia train service between Hamilton and Auckland will begin on April 6. It’s just a shame the timetable is so limited.

From day one there will be two return services on weekdays to get commuters to Papakura in time for the start of the workday.

From Monday to Friday, Te Huia will depart Frankton at 5.46am and 6.28am, stopping at Rotokauri and Huntly. The return service will depart from Papakura at 4.42pm and 6.25pm.

Bee Card fares – also used for Hamilton’s bus services – will be $12.20 from Hamilton and $7.80 from Huntly. Cash fares will be available.

For the first few months, Te Huia will operate on select Saturdays only, starting with April 17 due to limited availability of the rail track as a result of the ongoing Auckland rail project and Metro maintenance work.

Each of the two trains has four carriages with free wifi, air conditioning, heating, a café bar and each will be able to carry 150 passengers. There is a toilet within each carriage and plenty of tables, power and USB points on board to allow for productive working spaces.

I’m concerned that the limited timetable, long travel time and the inability for people to travel from Auckland to Hamilton will have a significant impact on potential usage and as such, risks being a failure that will put the idea of intercity rail travel back by potentially decades. Though many of these, and more are highlighted as potential future improvements.

Lego Bike Lanes

There’s been a push to get Lego to include bike lanes in its city sets and now it’s a possibility, if enough people support it.

A thousand years ago, back in 2019, a regional councilor in the Netherlands named Marcel Steeman undertook a seemingly impossible challenge: convince the makers of one of the most popular toys in the world to do something a little different.

He wanted Lego, the toy production company based in Billund, Denmark, to add bike lanes to their tiny, brick-made cities.

For years, the streets in Lego’s city sets — once called base plates — had space for cars, people, even tiny storm drains, but no designated lanes for zero-emission, human-powered vehicles like bikes. Even worse, it appeared that Lego’s streets had become more hostile toward pedestrians and cyclists over time. As compared to Lego sets from years ago, the cars seem to have grown larger — evolving from four- to six-studs wide — and the roads appeared to be getting wider, while the sidewalks were getting more and more narrow.

“It really stood out that Lego City is such a car centered city,” Steeman told me in an email.

He now needs to get 10,000 supporters of the idea and is already over half way there.

Speaking of bike lanes

Have a good weekend.

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  1. Where is the ideal place to terminate regional rail long term?

    If we upgraded britomart with another tunnel at its eastern end we could use the remaining 2 terminal platforms as the regional platforms without effecting crl / suburban capacity. However I don’t think this will be enough room long term. We might get say 12 ish tph. Maybe the turnaround times could be decreased. Regional rail does have to wait longer at its terminus than the suburban trains at the moment. How long is another question.

    Should britomart be added to with another cavern under quay street / the very northern end of the port?
    Or do you think a station elsewhere on the network would suffice.
    It’s obviously not ideal, the most likely destination will be the cbd, and that’s where the majority of transit lines are. But cbd land is scarce and expensive. A station there would have to be underground which limits the grandeur somewhat.

    We could reinstate the old railway building. But that doesn’t have a suburban station to connect with the rest of the rail network, and I don’t know how you’d add one. It’s also some walk to the cbd proper.

    What are people’s thoughts?

    1. Why would another tunnel be needed? Realistically there won’t be more than 1 train an hour using the Eastern Line or tunnel entrance for a long time.

      Isn’t the problem that the locomotives need to be electric to use Britomart?

      1. The eastern britomart tunnel is still going to be used for crl services running through. As soon as crl becomes saturated then those slots will be gone, hence another track/ tunnel. At the moment 4 train movements per day for regional services could probably be accommodated long term. Even taking crl slots, could be worth it. If however regional services increase, as they should To include all of the golden triangle at decent frequencies. Then I don’t think that situation would be viable. In peak times we could have maybe 6tph for Hamilton and Tauranga combined. That would take 1/3rd of the 18 tph per direction frequency of CRL. Not tenable at all.

        The electric locos is a problem as well. Hopefully dual mode or electrification extensions will solve that in time. I’m thinking this could be an issue for 15-20 years in the future. Depending on how the country / regional councils play their cards. It’s a fun thought experiment regardless.

        1. The tunnel can handle 20tph, the CRL will start at 15tph and grow to 18tph with existing signaling. This allows 2tph regional services into Britomart as long as their energy source is compliant with an underground station.

          Longer term there will probably need to be a regional terminus around The Strand, which ironically was the exact plan when the Auckland Railway Station opened there in 1930.

        2. @Jezza
          Very interesting, I didn’t realise the twin track existing tunnel could handle more trains than the future CRL twin track tunnels. Any insight why?
          This definitely seems like the ideal short term solution. Britomart is a great location, and will have terminus platforms.

        3. I don’t think there is a difference, the CRL could probably handle 20tph, however there isn’t really a logical running pattern for that. 18tph is much more logical with 3 different services at 6tph.

        4. It currently handles slightly more by the way the run it: two independent tracks running both directions each, between quay park junction and the platforms.

          I don’t think they’ll be able to do that ones the CRL opens though. There’s probably still some capacity to terminate, but I doubt it’s more than a couple of trains an hour.

        5. Riccardo – agree it couldn’t be any more than 2tph. The benefit of being able to run bi-directional into the tunnel is countered by the number of train movements that conflict in the throat.

          Post CRL there will be no services having to cross each other at this point. The only conflict would be an outbound regional service having to slot in between two east bound metro services when it departs.

        6. So some regional terminating is doable in theory if kept to a tight timetable but passenger disembarking would have to be pretty quick. No fifth platform.

        7. There will be two spare platforms at Britomart so the regional services will be able to disembark at their leisure.

    2. I think Newmarket would work. It’d be a very easy transfer to the intra-city rail routes, including those going through the CRL, and a selection of bus services. I’m not sure if the post-CRL running pattern would leave any platforms free but the station would be easier to expand than Britomart.

    3. Potentially Newmarket or Mt Eden Stations could be solutions, as they have more than two platforms are are pretty well connected to the rest of the network. Otherwise you could potentially add platforms at The Strand for the Eastern Line, which would allow a short connection into Britomart/Aotea Stations

      1. The eastern line should really have a stop near mechanics bay anyway. Although I don’t think that the strand would be truly optimal. Britomart was built for a reason, to move people much closer to where they actually wanted to go. With an easy hop onto trains that barrier would be a lot lower however. The land is certainly there and much easier than property acquisitions.

        I don’t believe newmarket and mt eden will have the space / capacity for decent numbers of terminating regional services. And honestly both seem fairly constrained. Newmarket has apartment buildings on both sides, Mt Eden is on curves and is actually being sunk somewhat far into a trench. All making it much more expensive to build a decent sized new station / platforms there.

        1. I mentioned in a GA post along while back that AT need to build a Station where the over bridge at Parnell Bathes are as that way the Bathes can attract more custom and Peoples at that lower end of Parnell have a way into the City and beyond after the CRL is completed . And the distance from there and the distance from the existing Parnell Station is roughly the same . But I was put down by people saying it wouldn’t work .

        2. The baths (east of Judges Bay) would be a ridiculous location to put a train station. There is practically zero catchment and full trains would be stopping there. Mechanics Bay (immediately west of the Strand, behind the McDonalds) on the other hand would be a great location.

    4. Short term it should be Puhinui, once interchange is open, word is AT are opposing that, which if true is very very disappointing.

      Puhinui as terminus for the interim start-up service has two substantial advantages for users, Puhinui has twice the AT Metro train service as Papakura, going directly to all stops on the Eastern as well as the Southern line. And it has direct connections to the Airport and Manukau with the new AT Airporter frequent service (from midyear).

      So not only is Puhinui significantly better for customers of Te Huia, it also feeds users directly to more of AT’s own network.

      Apparently they don’t like Waikato using a train slot that they may want for Metro services in the future.

      I so hope this is not true, and reason prevails.

      which is surely a benefit for their network as well as customers

      1. Short term Puhinui makes a lot of sense as the terminal. Longer term I don’t think it would be a detriment for puhinui to be a stopping station for regional services with a terminal station further into the city. Perhaps it makes some sense as the long term terminal station though. 2 major lines running through it, plus the airport to botany bus or LRT line. Plenty of space around to be expanded too. So perhaps there is a good argument for that to be the major regional rail interchange station, although I think there are possibly more optimal locations.

        “Apparently they don’t like Waikato using a train slot that they may want for Metro services in the future.” where did you hear this? AT is very short sighted if this is the case. It would only strengthen the case for more kiwi rail money for 3rd / 4th mains and more overall rail money if more people use the service.

      2. AT oppose using Puhinui as it will be a two platform station with 12tph + freight in each direction, it’s not a great option for terminating a service.

        A more realistic proposition is terminating the services at either Otahuhu or The Strand once the third main is complete.

        1. To me Otahuhu is a good option. Yes, it’s not right in the heart of the CBD, but if you’ve read the late Prof Mees’ book Transport for Suburbia, you’ll know the most important concepts are network and connections, and Otahuhu would tick both those boxes nicely in terms of Auckland PT. Also Otahuhu Station of course now has extra capacity and the building itself has a good amount of unused space (ie it’s sadly quite dead) that could be used as a waiting area or lounge, which is actually something that comes into play for inetrcity services.

          But definitely we should not be going back to a place like the Strand, that is so poorly connected to the Auckland PT network. Wherever it does end up terminating at has to be well-integrated with the rest of the PT network. That should be an absolute non-negotiable.

        2. Simon – one option would be to stop at Otahuhu but terminate at The Strand, do this for six months and you would pretty quickly figure out if continuing to The Strand is worthwhile.

      1. The issue is that its not actually that close to town (compared to britomart) And it wouldn’t have a very fast connection to a suburban rail station, and no real possibility of building one there. It’s not far away from the strand, and there’s a reason britomart was built to shift the terminus in much closer.

        It would be nice to have the old building used properly again, and having a nice old facade like that is something you just cant seem to build nowadays. But it would not be optimal from the transport perspective

        1. It’s basically the same principal as Central Station in Sydney. It’s on the edge of the CBD but it functions primarily as an interchange station where passengers change from regional services to suburban services entering the City Loop.

      1. Because I disagree that its pure fantasy. I’m not talking on the level of the UK or mainland Europe. Some trains that are competitive with off peak driving to Hamilton and Tauranga are reasonable with some upgrades and money spent.

        1. I think it’s absolute fantasy. Please explain how it would work. The trip needs to take 1.5 hours to stand a chance, lots of logistical and financial challenges to achieving that.
          I also think it’s a big distraction from the really important challenge of improving intra- city train transport.

        2. Zen Man so you don’t like this idea as a service then don’t use as there are many out there that will and want to use it and as there is the cash out there to make/help it work stop giving the negative vibes , and with what they are offering it’s better than what we had before . ;-

        3. Come on man. This is a place for rational debate, not fantasy.
          I am sure ‘some’ people would like it and use it, but ‘some’ people is not likely to be enough people.
          It needs to be much faster for it to work, but there are a lot of (expensive) practical and financial challenges. In my opinion, those challenges are insurmountable. I also genuinely think there is a much more vital need to get intra-city train transport working better. It has been a debacle in Auckland and Wellington for quite some time.

        4. Some key questions for you:
          – who would be the main users of the service?
          – how many of them are there likely to be?
          I just can’t see big demand for such a service, unless we got a new town of at least 10,000 – 20,000 people in a place like Te Kauwhata

        5. Frequent inter city is probably not feasible if we imagine that NZ will always be as it is today. But in some way we have to eliminate carbon emissions by at least 2050. EVs in their production produce considerable carbon. The European Commission’s Strategy on Sustainable and Smart Mobility says that changing to EVs will not be enough and so Europe is spending vast amounts on rail with this year being the “European year of rail.”
          Making interurban and urban mobility healthy and sustainable- for instance by doubling high-speed rail traffic and developing extra cycling infrastructure over the next 10 years is a goal of the “Mobility” report.
          I wouldn’t write off inter city trains.

        6. If there’s no intercity trip demand, we sure shouldn’t have built so many intercity highways. As for which mode people will take – that’s entirely down to investment choices, and the policy that decides them.

  2. If the Northern Explorer ran daily and offered some non tourist fare options then that would be a morning service from Auckland to Hamilton and an evening service back. It would do the same for the Capital Connection between Wellington and Palmerston North. Add in a night train and we would start to see a return to a revived intercity passenger network. Integrate these seamlessly with intercity bus travel and the network would be even better.

  3. A tribute to a tree? A tree nobody batted an eye lid at till Ockham decided to build an apartment there. Worlds gone mad.

  4. Sad to hear a scheduled tree is so easily lost. Protection is clearly meaningless.
    I’d expected to see a change in the apartment building design to accomodate it.

    The e survey was good. I could talk about many incidents….

      1. So glad to see that the protest groups have seen the light and accepted that one tree should stop 100 homes. I really hope they will be bringing this enthusiasm to rural subdivisions and road construction projects too.

  5. 2 Questions on the Hamilton train

    – Are there any Battery Electric locomotives in existence that we could buy to run the 80km odd gap between Puke & Te Rapa once the electrification there is done

    – How fast would the trip be, compared to 2hr 45 min estimate now, if the train could go straight to Britomart and assuming no track improvements outside Auckland? Could we save half an hour?

    1. 40 years ago the Silver Fern ran – non stop – between The Strand and Hamilton in under two hours…………….

        1. Well in this new age, would 2 hours each way be ok if you only have to be in the office 2 days a week?

        2. It’s the time the capital connection takes to run between Palmerston North and Wellington and that has been a very successful commuter service.

        3. Not to mention Wifi and the ability to work some/all of that time on the train, making the time you spend at work potentially less…

        4. It takes me 1.5 hours to travel from Takapuna to Manukau (bus, bus, train) and yet I can make it productive using a phone and laptop. I guess if you want to do something you can make it work.
          Often at peak the journey by car is longer.

    2. Kr aren’t interested in that sort of thing , after seeing this post in the IRJ this morning ;-

      “New Zealand: CRRC Dalian, China, has received an additional order for 10 DL class diesel locomotives from operator KiwiRail. The order is KiwiRail’s fifth from CRRC Dalian, bringing KiwiRail’s DL class fleet to a total of 73 units, accounting for approximately a third of the operator’s total fleet. The order follows an initial batch of 20 units delivered in 2010-11, 20 units in 2013, eight units in 2014, and a fourth batch of 15 in May 2017.”

      So why should they get them . KR should get the hybride Engine that can run on Diesel and the Electrical network like they have in Britian . Then they could operate them from Briomarrt to Palmerston Nth fr all passenger services .

      1. They need more diesel locomotives in a hurry because most of the existing units are decades old. The DLs are affordable, available quickly, a unit that Kiwirail have years of experience operating. They may not be the best but they do the job and meet NZ’s very restrictive size and weight limits.

      2. Diesels are no longer in underground passenger stations in New Zealand, including dual mode diesels.

        So ideally Te Huia would get its own battery electric locomotives to allow it to terminate at Britomart.

        1. David, diesels are no longer allowed in Britomart (or any other underground station in New Zealand). Doesn’t matter if they are switched on or not, anything with a tank of diesel (or petrol, gas, hydrogen etc) is forbidden.

      3. John D , This is the sort of Loco that I,m talking about as the Diesel is swirtched of when it’s changed to Electric so there should not be any problems with Britomart and this is in India . ;-

        1. David, diesels are no longer allowed in Britomart (or any other underground station in New Zealand). Doesn’t matter if they are switched on or not, anything with a tank of diesel (or petrol, gas, hydrogen etc) is forbidden.

        2. John D , so if an engine that runs on a fuel is banned why are these in the Britomart tunnel ? ;-

          or are they using rubber bands to power them .

          And the only reason why diesel not allowed in Britomart at and KR did not want to dig into their pockets to ungrade the exhaust fans after the network went electric and the Northern then was sent like a bad child to the Strand .

        3. Because the station is closed when they do heavy maintenance!

          I mean you could close the station to the public when the diesel trains are there, but that kinda defeats the purpose.

          It’s nothing to do with the fans, they are still there and functional. It’s the new H&S laws that make the staff personally liable for any injuries to the public.

          The reason

  6. If they are going to spend money getting rail between Auckland and Hamilton going, why not spend a little bit more to run enough services? They seem to be making it for commuting, but unless you want to spend about 5 hours commuting a day, who would use it for that? Perhaps it is good for commuters from say Huntley to Hamilton, but is that really regional and of a high enough demand to justify any investment?
    I think they would be better off spending any money extending the wires further south from Auckland firstly to Puke and then on to other towns one at a time until it finally gets to Hamilton. Running a crappy slow infrequent service between Hamilton and Papakura doesn’t sound like a winner to me.

      1. Te Kauwhata Is probably the next best one (Pokeno placement is an issue with new and old town layout) but could be done at the same time as Pokeno is also started on.

        Needs a service designed for the reverse direction and more week day & weekend runs ASAP.

        Work on minor speed improvements, a stop at Puhinui and terminate at Otahuhu as soon as it can be done (3rd main probably needed).

        I think the quality of the initial service will just pass the “test” to build more improvements even once the initial novelty of it may wear off.

    1. We would love to go to Hamilton on the train. We got the Intercity bus last time, but we would go to Hamilton (and Rotorua and Tauranga) by train as tourists if one was available.

        1. Same – looking for a train, I’d stay home if the option is driving myself or taking a bus. Driving is no fun!!

        2. Hey Tim, which part of crawling on SH1 between Manaukau and the CBD do you enjoy most?

          You know you can listen to Newstalk ZB on a train aye? 😉

  7. On the ash tree article – if we want more big trees and vegetation in urban areas, why are we not planting decent tree cover within our parks and road reserves in a coordinated and appropriate manner, rather than forcing individuals and private land owners to keep and maintain uncoordinated patches of vegetation that can vary wildly in quality and compete with other interests such as providing much needed housing? Surely there is a better way to have cake and eat it too than leaving it to adhockery?

    1. +1

      We have so many ‘reserves’ that are just patches of grass, too steep for sports fields, but flat enough to need mowing. Let’s make them small pockets of forest.

  8. I think the Western line is back to normal. It’s 33 minutes from Avondale to Britomart and 32 minutes back which is what was before, if I remember correctly. I am, though, a bit disappointed that it’s not faster since there are new tracks now.

      1. I believe it is. I took the train on Tuesday to the city and it was way faster than before. But then we were stuck in Kingsland for 10 minutes as we were waiting for two trains from the city… But there is definitely an improvement.

        1. I don’t think anything is back to “normal” yet. The supposedly finished southern line still seems to have plenty of bumps and dips along with continuing speed restrictions and 10 min+ delays.

        2. Southern timetable is definitely faster again from Penrose north anyway. 18/19 mins I think faster than pre speed restrictions because I remember eastern from Sylvia north was faster than southern being about that same timing. Eastern is currently 26 mins from Sylvia.

    1. Thank you Matt L for that , as I have a ticket for the 27th from Swanson to Helensville on 1 of to special hertiage trains for the A&P Show and my worst feeling was that the only way to get to Swanson would be by Bus .

    2. It’s probably not faster because of the single block of line around Mt Eden I guess. You need to wait until 2024 and the opening of CRL for your Western Line big time win.

  9. Lego bike lanes are just a waste perpetrated by some white middleclass male mini-figures. How is a busy mini-figure mum with three mini-figure kids going to use a Lego bike? Darth Vader can’t ride a bike as his cape will tangle in the plastic spokes. And where will the other mini-figures park their Lego cars? It’s just ridiculous.

    1. Darth seems fine:

      and as for parking, well, bikes are more space efficient anyway:

  10. Kiwirail have released the placement of the three new rail stations for Auckland
    See Kiwirail Media 11/2/2021.
    A bit vague – I had to use a map.

  11. The safety survey just took too long and ask too many questions and it starts to get annoying. I spent 10 minutes and decided to give up.

    AT please make the survey simplier

  12. Te Huia train seems like a joke. Two trains in a day and 40 min apart?! Don’t know who came up with that. I mean if they weren’t serious about it they should have spent money on something else. If that’s a trial it’s set up to fail cause it’s just silly.

    1. I think we will see some mission creep as this project goes along and don’t forget Waikato council has the ability to integrate buses around it particularly from Huntly north. Already they have started an all day bus service between Pokeno and Pukekohe this can easily be extended to Huntly to link up with the comprehensive Hamilton Huntly bus service.
      So my prediction is the first change will be a Pukekohe stop even though it will complicate the occasions when for whatever reasons buses need to replace trains but think of it this way they already have the buses. So not so much a Hamilton Auckland train but a Northern Waikato transport corridor. It is going to a bit experimental except changes as passengers get to grip with what’s on offer and the operator learn what needs to change to match demand. Remember the reason we have trains to Pukekohe is because of an earlier failed Hamilton Auckland train. So a series of linked suburbs without a city centre stretched between Pukekohe and Huntly with links to Auckland and Hamilton. Its happening already. Cars can’t be the only transport mode. If Waikato Council keeps its nerve and is prepared to adapt then I am confident that overtime a successful integrated bus and train network will evolve.

      1. Yes Pukekohe would be good, perhaps once electrified to there from Papakura they could drop the Papakura stop, but taking away an existing stop is always hard to do. This is assuming a Puhinui and/or Otahuhu stop as well.

      2. Royce – The Waikato Regional Council Busit brand does operate a Monday to Friday Hamilton to Pokeno and Pukekohe bus service departing Hamilton 9.10am arriving Pokeno 10.58am and Pukekohe 11.25am.

        The return service departs Pukekohe 2.15pm and Pokeno 2.42pm arriving Hamilton 4.35pm.

        Busit operates the Pukeno to Pukekohe local bus services which is fund by the Waikato Regional Council and NZTA.

        Beecard is used on all Busit services between Pokeno and Pukekohe.

        InterCity operates 4 daily services between Hamilton and Pokeno and 5 daily services between Pokeno and Hamilton and yes their fares are expensive compared to pre COVID19

        Busit is working on new bus timetables for Hamilton city, Raglan, Cambridge and Huntly which is due to be released middle of this year.

        I do agree with you that the Waikato Regional Council can increase services between Huntly and Pokeno but currently there isn’t the passenger numbers to warrant increase services. What I believe there are days there are no passengers traveling between Huntly and Pokeno on the existing service.

        1. Kris I just went on the Intercity site Sunday morning to book a journey to Hamilton from Manukau this morning with an afternoon return the price quoted is $41 to Hamilton and $37 return. Its just not an option for last minute spontaneous travel.
          I am aware of the Huntley Pukekohe bus but it is set up quite understandably for Waikato ratepayers so not much good for any Aucklander to make a return day trip. The train is the same. If this Waikato train to Auckland is to succeed this will have to change. Something or somebody or some somebodies will have to blink and get a bit cooperative and come up with some viable two way travel options. That’s why I have suggested above that services will evolve as the various players realise that the artificial boundaries between Auckland and Waikato are harming the uptake of public transport in both regions. Maybe it isn’t either Auckland or Waikato maybe its a Govt agency who controls the subsidy level who is the problem. In that case the answer is political action. I don’t care if its a train or a bus and I don’t care if its competition for Intercity the gouging for last minute travel is not right. For example if you book in advance you can get all the way to Wellington for similar fares as for a last minute booking to Hamilton.

    2. They’re targeting people who go to Auckland for the business day. It’s not a suburban service, and I doubt may people would use it day in day out. But if you go to Auckland one or two days a week, and your destination is somewhat near a rail corridor then this service makes sense. They dont have to get many users to make it successful. 300 return people trips per day at 100% capacity.

    3. It’s not that different to the Wairarapa services, which are quite successful. They run 3 peak direction services a day with two of them only around 45 mins apart.

      The only other difference is one off-peak service in the middle of the day but that is pretty lightly patronised.

      1. They are quite different. From Masterton to Wellington city is 1 hr 40 mins, from Caterton and Featherston it’s just over one hour.
        Carterton and Featherston have rural qualities which many urban professional like, I would suggest Huntly does not…
        Sorry I am just not buying this service.

        1. Calm down Zen Man and wait and see its not long now and if it doesn’t work you will be able to say told you so. I however expect it will morph into something. Two train sets and two new Stations will get used if the initial format of the service isn’t quite right. Got to start somewhere.

        2. I am very calm and zen. Just making a point.
          I will be very surprised if it’s a success.
          I guess we will wait and see.

        3. Hamilton is a much larger city than masterton and Auckland is a much larger city than Wellington, Auckland’s traffic is on par with Wellingtons. Sure the travel times are longer, but I think that is offset by city size, and better PT network in Auckland compared to Wellington (although I don’t have concrete evidence for that last point)

        4. I was commenting specifically on the proposed running pattern, which I think is quite reasonable for a start-up service.

          I agree it is a much slower service but I think the population size will help balance this a bit plus I don’t think it needs to carry anything like the Wairarapa passenger volumes initially to be judged a success.

          The Wairarapa trains were often full with 8 carriages, a half full 4 carriage Te Huia train would be a pretty decent start for a service that hasn’t existed for nearly 20 years.

          Four million passengers annually was considered a huge success in 2005, two years after Britomart opened.

    4. MattZ – It is a two return train services Monday to Friday and 1 return train service Saturday and Sunday.

      There are no day time train service/s Monday to Friday and that it is Achilles heel.

        1. I agree. Based on how under utilized Hamilton’s city and regional Busit services are, I have a feeling that Te Huia train service will have enough passengers for one train in the morning Hamilton to Papakura and 1 train Papakura to Hamilton in the afternoon Monday to Friday. With regards to weekends, I don’t know what the passenger numbers will be.

  13. I agree with Matt’s concerns about the Te Huia Hamilton/Papakura/Hamilton train service.

    Once the novelty wears off properly in 3 months, passenger numbers most likely will declined as the service has three weak points being the need to have Beecard and AT Hop cards, transferring trains at Papakura and the current timetable.

    InterCity has re-introduced the 7.30am Hamilton to Auckland airport and Auckland (Central) express services with a journey time of 2 hours 15 minutes with request pick up at Huntly and drop off at Manakau City with fares from $25.00 per person one way.

    1. But it’s not a train, it’s quite expensive and too late in the day for many people. Any earlier I guess it would get Auckland
      peak traffic and be very slow. You also need to specifically book it. Good to have these different options though.

    2. 2h 15m is only 15 minutes faster than the train and doesn’t leave during peak time.

      If anything this shows the value of a train. Even with the ridiculously long journey time to start with it is probably no slower than a bus. Make a few improvements, which there are plenty available and it will start to become quite useful.

  14. As a suggestion Id like to see a few more polls on here. Sometimes the comment section can be a bit of a shouting match and who can debate the best but it would be interesting to see what the majority says. Even polls that come out of the comment section, like where the quay park station would best be located or of intercity rail should take preference over intra city etc.

  15. It seems Covid has raised it’s ugly head again. I just hope AT has all it’s Transport
    Officers out tomorrow to enforce the wearing of masks.

    Why do it doubt it ?

  16. This part of Queens wharf were AT have built the new ferry pontoons seems to be one of another of their biggest blundrs for the travelling Ferry with very little to no shelter from the Wet Weather going from the Existing Building to the new terminals and getting on to the ferries on a wet day as when I filmed this you might have well stood in the Harbour to try and stay dry when boarding the ferry , and this was shot at 1.45pm 15th feb . ;-

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