Yesterday the Prime Minister laid out the next tranche of plans to scale back the ambition of Labour’s policy/delivery programme – and this time the Auckland light rail project gets a mention.

“I can also confirm today that we will roll out transport projects in Auckland in stages.

“Reducing transport emissions is critical to achieving New Zealand’s climate change targets, but we need to focus our efforts on the areas where we can achieve the greatest reductions, such as our biggest cities.

“With around a third of New Zealand’s population estimated to live in our biggest city, it’s where we can make the largest single gains in future-proofing transport systems to tackle congestion and reduce emissions.

“Work on Auckland Light Rail will continue alongside other city-shaping investments like a second Waitematā Harbour Crossing, more rapid busways, and better connections to growth areas like the North-West.

“But just like the London Underground didn’t suddenly appear fully formed, and in fact took many years to develop, Auckland Light Rail will happen in stages – with the first stage expected to be confirmed by the middle of this year.

“There’s nothing new in taking a staging approach to significant transport projects. The Wellington Northern Corridor and Northern Busway projects, for example, are being delivered by successive governments in stages.

“The Waikato Expressway started in 1993, with the Bombay Hills to Mercer construction, and was only finished last year.

“Auckland Light Rail is no different. Staging the rollout will align it with other critical transport investments, particularly the second Waitematā Harbour Crossing.

“Investing in a modern Auckland where people can get around, where there’s less congestion and cleaner travel options is the least the city should expect. Our Cabinet is absolutely agreed on that.

Firstly, focusing on the “biggest cities” to do the heavy lifting for mode shift and emissions reductions has always been the plan. There is, however, heaps of potential in many of our smaller towns and cities – especially from active modes, but also from public transport – that this government seem to be willing to forgo.

That feels short-sighted, and the sort of thing that may short-change the towns and smaller cities who are forging ahead, the way Whanganui and Nelson are.

But back to Auckland light rail: staging has always been part of the answer. The long-running issue – and our point of contention – has been the push for staging to begin with an isthmus-spanning tunnel that will take a decade or more, and billions of dollars, to deliver.

Our position is that “staging” should be understood as starting with a surface solution now, with the ability to add a tunnel in the future. There will never not be a need for a surface solution on Dominion Road, so this wouldn’t be wasted money.

Furthermore, based on overseas examples, a surface solution could be delivered in just 3-4 years. Had this government not been distracted by tunnel fantasies, the first stage of Auckland Light Rail would be up and running by now.

Light Rail Consultation

Notably, the Auckland Light Rail (ALR) team have also just launched a new consultation, primarily focusing on how they deliver light rail through Onehunga and Mangere. Bizarrely, they haven’t made an easy-to-use online form for gathering feedback.

Dominion Junction and Kingsland

ALR is confirming that there will likely be stations at the Dominion Junction, and at Kingsland. This also confirms that this part of the light rail route will largely parallel the City Rail Link.

Dominion Junction is the (provisional) name given to the area around the Dominion Rd Flyover, which if removed will free up about 3 hectares of land.

At Kingsland, ALR promises “seamless transfers to other lines by walking from platform to platform” but that doesn’t necessarily mean the stations are integrated together. What does it mean for disruption to the Western Line if a significant rebuild is required at Kingsland?

More questions here: will the zoning in Kingsland be updated to reflect that it will have some of the best transport connectivity in the country? Or will it remain largely locked away behind dubious character protections?

There’s no reason this couldn’t be achieved with a surface solution


Making use of part of the long designated Avondale to Southdown rail corridor has been a feature of previous light rail plans. This makes sense, as there is little practical use for this corridor by Kiwirail.

The Avondale to Southdown corridor

But Kiwirail now claims they want to develop it, with ALR saying:

KiwiRail and Auckland Transport are in the early stages of developing plans to use the land to build a new rail line. Trains would use this line to carry goods to be delivered throughout New Zealand. It could also be used to carry people on a whole new service from Henderson in the west to Glen Innes in the east.

This seems more like Kiwirail trying to protect their patch, rather than having any meaningful or justifiable plan to do actually do what’s described. That’s because there’s almost no value in it for freight services.

Kiwirail currently only runs two freight trains a day to Northland, and while we’d all like to see more, once the CRL is in place (and if AT does its job properly), there shouldn’t be much capacity on the Western line for most of the day to run many more freight services without a massively expensive and difficult programme to add additional tracks. As such, the only time there is likely to be capacity is in the middle of the night – but at that time, freight runs might as well just use the existing tracks through Newmarket.

Moreover, while the designation might exist, there’s the not-so-insignificant issue of actually building a new line. It’s hard to imagine local residents just accepting all of the additional noise and vibration of suddenly having freight trains for neighbours.

As for Henderson to Glen Innes, that would be easier and faster via the CRL than using this corridor. We’d all be much better off with a crosstown light rail idea – possibly extended further east to Sylvia Park.

However, ALR is saying the plan is to build both corridors through here:

The route would have two tracks of light rail and two tracks of heavy rail on one shared route. They would be separated from streets either:

  • on a long, raised bridge
  • in a shallow trench dug out below the ground (with barriers)

Light rail trains would carry people along the line north to the city centre or south to Māngere and the airport.

Heavy rail trains would:

  • carry goods to be delivered throughout New Zealand and
  • carry people on a new, extra service to add to the rail lines in Auckland

So they’re now talking about a four-track trench or elevated structure – check the calendar, it’s not April 1st, is it?

The consultation is asking for feedback on how to get this four-track route between Hillsborough and Onehunga, with two options provided.

The first option runs alongside the motorway and would require a “long, raised bridge” to get the lines down the hill.

The second option makes use of the Avondale to Southdown corridor all the way down to Onehunga. This would mean a four-track trench about 3km long, with at least 14 road crossings over it – and for light rail, the loop back to Onehunga.

I don’t think that map really does justice to the land use around the corridor. As mentioned, it’s hard to see local residents just accepting all of the additional noise and vibration of suddenly having freight trains for neighbours.

Perhaps the one major benefit from this idea would be the ability to have a couple of additional stations along the route:

Also, if they’re having to build a four-track railway here, presumably they’ll need to do it between Hillsborough and Wesley too?


In Māngere, it seems ALR have finally dropped the idea of running light rail along Bader Drive and will keep the route along SH20. This makes sense, as previous information suggested using Bader Drive added about four minutes of travel time for no real benefit.

They also say that it will stick to the eastern side of SH20. Previous plans had it weaving through the motorway bridges as it crossed the Mangere Inlet, so this is likely about keeping the design simpler. Worth noting however that around 2010 the motorway between the bridge and Walmsley Rd was specifically shifted to the east to allow space for a rail corridor on the western side.

A render of surface Light Rail on Bader Drive in Mangere

ALR is now consulting on whether to keep the corridor and station for Māngere Town Centre beside the motorway, or shift it a few hundred metres closer to the town centre.

This is the kind of question that ALR should have been asking for from the beginning instead of just showing a few pretty graphics and asking people if they like it. Of course, all of those suggested trade-offs should also include things like costs and other implications, otherwise the feedback you’re getting is not fully informed.

An elevated rail option over Bader Dr from an old Auckland Transport video – could this be back on the table?

A shift to metro

Lastly, there are a couple of hints that perhaps ALR is shifting away from its worst of both worlds tunnelled light rail plan and to more towards a light metro style design. The consultation notes that they’re “looking at options to separate light rail from local streets and traffic“, to be able to run “longer trains at higher speeds“. Also that “drivers may not be required as the system is automatic” – something only possible on a fully separated light metro route.

This is not surprising: with longer term aims to extend light rail to the North Shore and the Northwest, both of which would likely be completely grade-separated, the design of a whole ~60km system would have been constrained by about 800m of on-street running Onehunga and Māngere.

Here’s the brochure again. Online feedback here, although the link to the actual survey is buried in a busy scroll-and-tap website situation. Consultation open until 10 April 2023.

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  1. So in six month’s time, if we are lucky, having spent tens of millions, we will be at the same point – LR to Mt Roskill – as we were when Labour took LR off AT in 2017.

    Well that’s progress….

    1. Surely the sensible staging option would be to do Airport-Roskill first. And that’s the section that the consultation document is prioritising.

      1. BTW I think the headline of this article is unfair. The Avondale-Southdown stuff seems over-the-top and evidence of some kind of “deal” being done with Kiwirail, like the detour to Sandringham is evidence of a “deal” with Kāinga Ora.

        BUT: the stuff discussed re: Māngere and a possible shift to the light-metro option seems… sensible? And good?

        1. Agreed. The Avondale-Southdown stuff, it’s on KR, they’ve protected the route, and KR are the experts in what KR wants. If CC2M wants to use KRs designated route, and they’ve worked out a deal, that’s great. Same thing happened when NZTA wanted to make SH20 along there.

          The article is overall a bit too negative on a mostly positive series of moves.

    2. No it will take at least 10-15 more years to get the project moved back onto the surface. You have to wait for the people who selected the tunnel option to retire or die.

  2. Makes more sense for a urban rail route to track through the area where people live, rather than where they drive, but how much effect will that wiggly blue line have on people’s houses? I presume that KiwiRail don’t own any land along that route yet? A couple of new stations there will have a great effect (one completed) on opening up those low-rise suburbs to development.

    1. Kiwirail owns a good chunk of the wiggly blue line, at least through Onehunga, including where I currently rent. What I don’t understand is how they are going to navigate demolishing my house for this line as, as far as I’m aware, it is heritage protected.

        1. Yeah, but cars are holy in NZ, so they get prioritised.

          This whole thing stinks. It feels like a consultant feast, getting while the getting is good to write some more reports, before it gets cancelled (National) or quietly dropped (Labour). And I say this as a consultant myself.

      1. Designations overrule any heritage protections as they essentially overrule the district plan. So Kiwirail wouldn’t need any resource consents to demolish dwellings within the designation

        1. That may be the legal truth. The practical reality is different. A stupid bungalow built before Year X has more rights in Auckland than actual living breathing people in Auckland, and certainly more than a good PT project. And this isn’t even a good PT project (in this form). Dead before arrival.

        1. I believe Kiwirail owns the entire designation. Any houses on the designation are leased out by kiwirail to others as I understand. Building a light rail line right next to a heavy rail line is complete madness.

        2. How is making use of an existing rail corridor “madness”? It won’t be going the whole way, seems like a low cost solution/low nimby solution.

        3. To zippo. It’s madness to build two rapid transit options parallel for km after km and spend billions on them. Auckland is a big place and needs rapid transit in lots of areas. If they put heavy rail on the a-s line then put the light rail somewhere else. Anywhere else would be better

  3. Is Auckland CBD lite rail going to win the prize for the biggest white elephant in NZ history?

    Factors for it consideration

    1 the construction has strangled a lot of businesses in the CBD to death. Mostly by the inconvenience of blocked off roads but also there is just NO parks in the CBD anymore. Except for over priced parking buildings.

    I had to trade in the Viaduct a s it cost me $20+ for less than an hour parking.

    Malls are free

    Go figure

    2 Given the death throws it’s caused in business and visitor who actually is it for?

    A bunch of scarfies getting around the CBD? Or cruise line tourists here for a few hours?

    That’s really going to keep the wheels of commerce turning.

    3 It goes no where. In terms of where it goes what people in Auckland actually take this route now?

    Albany to Penrose yes

    No one goes around in a circle in Auckland during their commute.

    For these reasons believe that the inner city rail link is destined to win by a long shot the converted prize of

    NZs greatest ever WHITE ELEPHANT.

    Given it’s currently the most expensive rail system per metre, it may even feature of the international list of all time White Elephants too.

        1. Nah, not a clue either. They like the word Elephant though, which is nice as Elephants are pretty cool.

        2. Hell yea brother, I’m all for more elephants in town centres, and the urban environment we’d need to sustain them.

          Good first step to breeding Kiwi to the point where sections and back yards are over-run by them.

        3. I was watching a video of this cool elephant in Cambodia that stands by a road and waits for the sugar cane trucks, then it steps out in front so they have to stop and it helps itself to a snack. It lets all the other traffic go on past.

        4. They always squarked ‘white elephant’ about the previous public transport projects, northern busway, britonart, etc.
          And yet not a single one has turned out to be one.
          Go figure.

    1. White elephants, rare and revered,
      Their presence brings a sense of awe and fear,
      Symbolic creatures of power and might,
      They grace the earth in purest white.

      But in our world of progress and speed,
      Their ivory tusks a tempting need,
      And so they suffer, hunted and killed,
      Their fate with human greed is filled.

      But there’s a way we can atone,
      For the harm to these creatures we’ve sown,
      A tunneled light rail, efficient and green,
      A solution that’s fair and clean.

      We can protect their habitats with care,
      With tunneled rail that’s out of sight and rare,
      The elephants can roam free and wild,
      And we can ride with ease, like a child.

      Efficiency is key, in this modern day,
      A tunneled light rail can pave the way,
      For a world where we can coexist,
      And let these creatures exist.

      So let’s strive for progress and change,
      With an eye to a future that’s not estranged,
      Where white elephants roam and light rails glide,
      A world where both can thrive side by side.


      1. I was going to say “Very good!” until I saw the credit at the end. The poem is still worthy of approbation but as it’s not your own work please accept the original compliment minus the exclamation mark.

    2. Dammit uncle Owen, the barbecue isn’t till Saturday and you’re already on the rum and cokes mouthing off reckons?!

    3. I’m sure you can fly your helicopter into the viaduct because your car will be stuck in traffic & a complete waste of time.

  4. +1

    [ Lastly, there are a couple of hints that perhaps ALR is shifting away from its worst of both worlds tunnelled light rail plan and to more towards a light metro style design. The consultation notes that they’re “looking at options to separate light rail from local streets and traffic“, to be able to run “longer trains at higher speeds“. Also that “drivers may not be required as the system is automatic” – something only possible on a fully separated light metro route. ]

    Strategic PT links need to provide higher speeds to provide competitive travel speeds with driving.

    Surface stop to stop services (to or beween stations) to provide local accessibility can still be provided by bus with priority as needed.

    1. Why are automated road vehicles on the road (with restrictions but still) but rail transport must be completely separated from all other traffic?

  5. Unfortunately they will still want to use low floor light rail trams.
    Which in my opinion will reduce service quality, if they used traditional metro cars they could run a 2 or 3 car train meaning much shorter stations Will be needed and reducing cost, especially on all these underground stations.

  6. Of course the Avondale – Southdown corridor rail line should be built asap, it’s one of those very rare occurrences where Auckland has made future provision for trains. As for freight trains, these aren’t going away and are likely to increase in number from the north. While Kiwirail control the Auckland rail network, freight trains will be threading there way along the Western line and not confined to some imaginary midnight window. The Avondale Southdown line also provides addtional redundancy in the network , something it desperately needs.

    1. At what price do you think it would be worth doing Avondale – Southdown?

      If it were to cost (say) 10 billion, it obviously wouldn’t be worth it. Could buy far more network improvements with that kind of cash. Grade separations on the southern line, station / access upgrades etc.

      1. (emphasis on the etc. Electrification extensions. More trains. Southern line quad tracking. Westfield Flying Junction. Hell, even busway extensions would do a lot more good)

      2. Why would it cost $10 billion? They own the land unlike the hundreds of millions $car parks they’re building between Papakura and Pukekohe.

        1. It probably wouldn’t cost that much. I chose a high number to prove the point that there is *some* point at which it isn’t worth doing, while there are other projects that would have more net benefits on the rail system

          My question is what would your bar be? Mine would be be fairly low. 500 million maybe? More than that and there are simply more gains to be had elsewhere.

      3. I don’t know how much it will cost but kiwirail already owns the land and the overbridges on the south western motorway were already built wide enough for double tracked rail lines to go underneath as the rail designation was already in place before the motorway was built so the Avondale to Mt roskill part could be done by a couple of guys with shovels and a bit of ballast.

    2. What freight are they going to carry that’s what I would like to know. If they know the should tell us. If Auckland Port shifts to Marsden Point then maybe it can be justified else they will just have to juggle freight and passenger trains. And remember both the southern and Eastern line trains can access Newmarket.

    3. Why should Avondale Southdown be built? What on earth is it for? There is nearly no freight task (currently absolutely zero on the NAL), and no coherent passenger one either.

      As a NW to south bypass it is useless as it fails to get round either Avondale or New Lynn. It would cost billions.

      In any prioritisation of the enormous list of upgrades or extensions the nation’s rail network could do with this would have to sit at about 906th.

      Much more urgent, off the top of my head: 4th main, continue electrification of Main Trunk Pukekohe to Te Rapa, same to Tauranga, batt/electric EMU sets for intercity, double track NIMT north of Wellington, and wire up, night trains for AKL-WGTN, Marsden Link, signals upgrades for AKL and WTGN, electric locos for freight, freight hubs in Palmy, NW AKL. Proper intercity terminal in AKL, a ‘Britomart’ style station and development in Hamilton city, a good Tauranga station too, upgrade regional stations all over for intercities, keep repairing the NAL, doubling the single track NIMT at Whangamarino, and so on and on and on….

      ASL is so low value, wasting even planning time on it is stupid. Just cos they have an ancient a designation is no reason to bribe another public agency into wasting money on it. And shame on ALR for not just telling them to stick to their knitting. Like fixing and running what they have currently more competently.

      1. Very well put Driver!

        However, as silly as this idea is, we should take the opportunity in the consultation to register opposition and remind ALR what their main job is: building light rail on the isthmus ASAP. Not wasting time appeasing KiwiRail and whatever other powers that wanna be.

      2. “no coherent passenger one either” .

        The Avondale southdown forms a circle line to run trains from the crl on the eastern line then the Avondale southdown line then the inner western line from Avondale back to the crl again. It allows auckland to have a proper network rather than just radial lines coming out from the centre. It’s the most important thing to be built as heavy rail in auckland for passengers imo. Light rail or light metro can go anywhere else.

        The freight task will improve once the connection to Northport is there. Otherwise we are forcing freight trains to go through Newmarket and the Mt eden junction.

        1. Ok, and who on earth needs to take that circutious journey? Think about what you said. Eastern, so say Panmure, through the city centre, west, to just before Avondale, then down to Onehunga, up to Penrose then Newmarket, and back to the city. A long slow pointless spiral. Daft af.

          Also if you are taking train slots in the hreart of the network for this merry-go-round you are reducing frequency on the outer western, southern, and eastern lines. Such a plan would actually reduce service on the network for the most valueable users; those taking longer journeys.

          This is why Light Rail is planned to be a separte network; it adds completely new capacity and frequency without stealling from existing (or future: CRL) capacity. Anyone who proposes extending the current little two track mixed rail system is proposing to reduce existing services.

        2. While the reduced services on other lines are a problem and need to be considered, ring routes are usually not designed to take you the whole way back to your starting point but rather people from Panmure to Avondale (or vice versa) or somewhere in between without the need to go to the city centre. This could potentially reduce the load at Britomart or Newmarket and make a commute from east to west (or vice versa) way more feasible. It would also directly connect both east and west to the Onehunga area.
          So no, people would not use a circular line to go around in circles but that would never be the intention.

        3. To driver eight.
          “Eastern, so say Panmure, through the city centre, west, to just before Avondale, then down to Onehunga, up to Penrose then Newmarket, and back to the city. A long slow pointless spiral. ”
          No, read it again. a circle line like 40 odd other cities around the world use as the basis of their system. Eastern line to a-s (not Penrose) then to inner west then to crl then to Eastern line again. It connects the entire isthmus to the city in one trip but also the isthmus to most other points on the isthmus in one trip. Thus making a network Instead of just radial lines out from the city centre.

          The eastern line trains would cross the southern line between Westfield and Penrose somewhere with a proper transfer station in a more metro like fashion, then continue up the a-s line with the same frequencies, only creating double frequencies between Avondale and in the crl to the strand

  7. How can something which died a year ago get further off track?

    Of course from a politician point of view it has still an assigned pot of money which can then be redistributed elsewhere. But that is nothing new, politicians do that all the time. Note that this pot of money is of course not actual money the government already has, it is just planned debt or future taxes… So instead of getting something useful we get something harmful (useful: reduces emissions, harmful: increases emissions) and we have to pay for it.

  8. Sounds like the Southbound Avondale plan of 4 lines is a Wayne Brown special bribe so he can get his port moved.

    1. Aren’t the government already committed to upgrading the North Auckland line? If that’s the case I think we will definitely see more freight coming that way. And though I doubt that the port will ever completely move from downtown Auckland, it’s inevitable IMO that some functions (importing cars, for example) will go elsewhere. If Northport was chosen, I for one would be happy to see rail wagons loaded with cars cross the city from west to east and then onward across the North Island. Much better IMO than having big rigs carrying them on the road and trashing the road base.

    2. The case for moving the port has never made sense to me. The current port is right where it needs to be – in the city it serves. Auckland’s got plenty of public waterfront already – we don’t need to spend tens of billions of dollars and make the cost of transporting goods in and out of NZ even more expensive just to get a little more downtown waterfront.

        1. The port argues it is constrained within its space and can’t reclaim any more of the harbour.

  9. This definitely seems like a case of trying to run before they’ve started to walk. As stated, a City to Mt Roskill section could have been constructed by now to prove the concept sound. The remainder of the route through Mangere and towards the airport could have then been constructed. Then if the City to Roskill section becomes a bottleneck, look to build the tunnel on a different alignment. By that stage, development in the central isthmus would no doubt be sufficient or close to sufficient to support what would be, in effect, a subway.

    1. Not running before they can walk at all. Looks to me like they’re actually thinking about what the big picture might look like, acknowledging that it will be staged. But if you don’t have the bigger picture in mind when you start a project, the chances of later realising you’ve wasted $$$ are very high.

      1. Agree to disagree … Bigger picture is also looking at the wider network. Surface LR on Dominion, surface LR on Mt Eden, Manukau Roads etc

        There’s massive opportunity for not just 1 rapid transit route here. Yes, surface LR might not be as fast as a tunnelled option. But look at the bus patronage figures in the inner isthmus since AC and AT began providing the minimal bus lanes they’ve currently got …
        IF a service, is frequent, reliable and not too expensive, people will use it.
        Having multiple ‘spines’ of high quality PT would be amazing for the city.

      2. I don’t see a surface light rail and tunneled option running somewhat parallel to it as a waste of time, especially as construction of tunneled section could be two decades removed from the surface route. Say you start with surface down Dominion Road, then twenty years later, you build the tunneled section down Sandringham Road or Manukau Road, then the Dominion Road section will still see sufficient passenger numbers to make it worth while keeping.

  10. Glad to see things are not in a complete meltdown, at least. I think it’s a positive sign and a tiny step forward, in particular in sowing what appears quite a positive seed to seek public acceptance, which is (in particular in an election year) critical. Good timing from a political point of view.

    Re Avondale to Southdown: that was a real but very welcome surprise. I’d prefer that it extended all the way to Waterview, though, to connect with the NW Busway. For Avondale-Southdown I suspect that the need to keep Kiwirail on board will mean the HR line will be constructed first, and a LR line will come 50+ years later, but notwithstanding, the ability to run even heavy rail trains from the west of the city to the east would allow the creation of a real strategic “network” for AT Metro services (with the emphasis on “net”) for the first time, and offer many more operating options and network redundancies. This would be very helpful when faults/breakdowns/acts of God impede the current network.

    It seems from the document that the line is now pretty much certain to go down Sandringham Rd, which will hopefully relieve anti-pressure from businesses, whether it’s surface or tunnelled. But I think an opportunity has been missed by not passing the LR line close by the hospital. I could imagine the line crossing the motorway at Wellesley St from the University, and then going under some of the housing west of the hospital, and then joining the HR line (elevated over it?) from near Grafton Station to Kingsland, before heading down Sandringham Rd. But we can all dream. . .

    It’s easy to be cynical about the chances that any of this will come to fruition. But the current proposal does seem to open the door to more easily financed and publicly acceptable options, though it’s (deliberately) light on detail on many key questions. Of course the usual arguments will follow about heavy rail vs light rail, grade separated vs tunnelled, and over the viability of doing anything at all. But this is, I believe, a small step forward and we should support the dialogue (and be ready to accept that our personal preferences may not be what comes out in the end). And acknowledge that the government does actually have a huge number of calls on its budget and that the best solution may not be affordable. Just like in real life.

    1. “Re Avondale to Southdown: that was a real but very welcome surprise. I’d prefer that it extended all the way to Waterview, though, to connect with the NW Busway”

      If we are thinking long term, it should probably be LRT/LM from Constellation, down the UHH, then down SH16, Avondale to Southdown and replacing the Onehunga line up to Ellerslie, to connect (ultimately) with the eastern busway.

      But start with A-S first.

      1. UHH should probably just be buses – NW line should go further out along the future SH16 extensions. I don’t think crosstown routes are going to need capacity/infra more than just buses/stops/shoulders until multiple radial lines are built, which probably are not anytime soon.

        I think Avondale-Southdown in KR’s plans is freight only – and that’s a GA map for taking over their designation. But if there is room, KR’s shown that they’re quite happy to share, as shown by this and SH20.

  11. I am so depressed…..I just want to see a cheaper than a tunnel or metro, surface running system that will activate the entire length of its route, not just at underground station locations. It doesn’t need to be fast, just very regular and fare attractive for users. It can be built in stages, programme in a new stage every 3-4 years if that works. Upskill an industry of light rail builders and don’t stop with Auckland. Build our own trams in time. Nirvana.

  12. I remember using the driverless tram system in Lille, France, over 30 years ago when I lived there. It’s a bit of a realization that NZ is actually over 30 years behind rather than the ’20 years behind the rest of the world’ that we are led to believe! Isn’t there a book or a course or something so that we can catch up? Just plain old common sense tells me that you need to put trams where people live rather than on a motorway where nobody can get to it. How is it possible that being close to a motorway is seen as a selling point for a property but being near a train line would be seen as a problem?

  13. “There’s no reason this couldn’t be achieved with a surface solution”
    100%, but we cannot even get this right with the CRL, Victoria St Linear Park no longer makes mention of linking it to Nelson St, only as far as Federal.
    I also haven’t seen what they plan to do with the part of Mayoral Drive behind the Aotea Centre, which is currently a wonderfully quiet 7 lane stroad

  14. Nothing is going to happen until after the election. IF a Labour government is in power the Greens will be in cabinet with real power. They’ve always sounded much better on light rail and are likely to get a better solution (ie surface light rail)

    1. They didn’t have much to say about it when they had an Associate Transport Minister portfolio, so based on evidence to date I’d say that’s highly ambitious logic. In fact, they didn’t really seem to have much to say about the stagnant mess that was Light Rail at all. Guess it just wasn’t as important to them as, say, the number of road tunnels in Wellington.

      1. “They didn’t have much to say about it when they had an Associate Transport Minister portfolio, so based on evidence to date I’d say that’s highly ambitious logic. ”

        Not necessarily. They were one of TWO minor parties (with NZ First) and knew that the whole thing could collapse – with NZ First going over to National and making them (National) the governing party. So their leverage was limited.

        IF Greens and Labour get a clear majority (a bit if, of course) and Labour is either unwilling or unable (on numbers) to form a govt with any other minor party. Then they’d have some real clout.

        Lots of ifs, and none of them will become facts (if any) until after the election. But the Greens could in theory have a lot more power.

        Of course the screaming and protesting by certain parts of society of seeing the Greens have real govt power would make some of the anti-Jacinda protests look take.

    2. Yes the Greens also supported the better surface version. So either there’s a Nat/ACT govt and it’s killed, in favour the status quo of car clogged city with too many yet also not enough slow buses, or it’s a Lab/GRN one and LR is scaled back to being a rational project.

      So perhaps other than this being a terrible waste of time and money i can’t see so how it has any reality what so ever.

    1. clearly you have no idea what you are talking about, if you had any common sense or even read this article you would not think that

  15. Is this consultation an indication they will do the southern end first which wouldn’t really involve tunnels either so the cheaper end?

    1. The more I think about it, this is what they could do. I forgot it would connect with Kingsland station now we are going via Sandringham Rd rather than Dominion Rd. Doing from Kingsland to Mangere first would give a decent length of line with reasonable anchors at each end and enable a proper stabling/maintenance depot to be reached from day one.
      If they were to downgrade from the tunnel idea along Sandringham it would reap a large cost saving though they would loose the automated metro ability 9what would be the longer term cost savings from driverless?).
      The more difficult expensive City end & airport ends could be completed later.

  16. I think that you have underestimated the potential for freight on the Avondale to Southdown railway. It is now quite likely that KRL will build a new line to NorthPort which will quickly trigger MetroPort trains running there. MetroPort was keen to run some from the original Whangarei Port some time ago but KRL didn’t have the capacity then. They are also rebuilding the line north to Otiria to tap into the new produce traffic being grown from Kerikeri to north of Hauhora. Also imported car traffic will likely be transferred from Auckland Port to NorthPort with a rail connection. There is also a lot of log traffic that goes through Auckland from Northland to Kinleith, Kawerau and to the Port of Tauranga. In the past there were large volumes of chip that went from Portland to Kawerau by rail. An inland port is also planned in the Huapai area (mostly to supply NorthPort) but will also become a place for West Auckland Industry to send containers headed to the Port of Tauranga as well. I think that it would be very short term thinking to interfere with this line as a potential freight line. We need to move as much freight as possible by rail in these times.

    1. So explain to me how ASL helps that meaningfully? It isn’t a real bypass.
      Anyway there is years and years of running night freighters for that task ahead before a real bypass is needed.

      Also, a key point about the Marsden link, connecting Northport by rail, is that moving Northland goods to Northport for direct export or coastal shipping becomes viable. It actually may reduce north to south bulk freight movements. In good way for Northland exporters and producers.

      It’s a useless historical artefact. Think ahead, not backwards.

      1. I am thinking ahead. Not sure what you don’t understand aboiut what I have written. Makes sense to move freight from road to rail. Not sure what you mean by ‘not a proper bypass’ Saves going through Newmarket and it connects directly with both the Southdown and Westfield yards. What exactly are your ‘future’ thoughts about moving large quantities offreight through Auckland?

        1. Newmarket is only one bottleneck. The New Lynn trench is just as bad, which A to S does nothing for.

          You need to bypass both. An electric freight only tunnel starting further west would be a better option for freight. It would be considerably cheaper per km than CRL. No stations. Single bore would be plenty of capacity. Flat. No interference with metro services.

        2. “An electric freight only tunnel starting further west”

          Why does this crazy idea keep coming back up?.
          You want to have diesel trains running to Whangarei and the yard at Westfield where the diesel trains are refueled each run, pits are and checks made and you want to build an electric only tunnel in between those two things? .
          They will just run the diesel locos around through Newmarket each time and not use the tunnel at all. Better than having banker locos sitting there all day and hooking up locos every time.
          Maybe we could use the tunnel for tourists to walk through like a *the tunnel to nowhere experience”

        3. I don’t think it’s much of a reduction in emissions to run a diesel loco 7 hours from Whangarei to west auckland and then hook up an electric or two for a 10 min run through a tunnel.

          This tunnel would be the first case of future proofing where they reduced the operational possibilities of what can be achieved. I very much doubt auck to otiria will be electrified any time soon. Limiting future options is not future proofing.

          Let’s face it. This ridiculous multi billion dollar tunnel idea for 2 freight trains a day with that trains can’t run through without changing lead locos is actually an argument to take heavy rail away from the Avondale southdown designation so it can be used for light rail instead.

          Why not just build the heavy rail on the surface as designated,? have flexibility to use it with electric or diesel or whatever form arrives in the future. And also have the ability to run both passenger and freight on it?
          Have you heard of future proofing?

        4. No one wants diesel anything anymore; carcinogenic and carbon belching . KR runs the risk of losing social licence to run, let alone increase the number of, diesel powered trains through city areas. Especially ones with 25Kv OHL already built.

          Also the Northport plan has always included a NW yard to which offers a perfect opportunity to swap out locos and rebuilding consists. Deliveries to/from NW and Upper Shore served directly from there.

          Also the tunnel would likely be cheaper or at least comparable cost to build than the near useless ASL. And offer decades of efficiency savings for both freight and passenger tasks. No brainer.

        5. @MRB Of course you wouldn’t have it setup that you had to change locos for the last few kms, how inefficient. This wouldn’t happen tomorrow so by the time it is built I would hope we could be using duel electric/diesel/hydrogen or battery units. Anything that had to be diesel could still run via Newmarket (maybe with a surcharge). The whole central North Island is electrified, so lets roll out electrification to the rest of the network in stages, we have to Swanson already. That’s about 11kms from west from Fruitvale.

        6. MRB, the entire premise was that they cant run via newmarket.

          Using existing infrastructure is obviously the way to go in the very likely event that there are only a few trains a day (which would be an order of magnitude more than today), and is exactly what we should do until the unlikely event arises that this is saturated for freight.

          Let’s face it, it’s a ridiculous to buy a multi billion dollar surface line for a couple freight trains a day, not remove any network constraints for running more freight services in the future, and a couple passenger services an hour that either make pointless looping services or go east west on a route exactly as long and windy as going via newmarket.

          The people that know best what the distant future (30+ years time) needs will be people closer to that time. Sure build big now. Don’t build things that might find some decent use one day with little benefit now.

          Use the designation for a busway now. Kiwirail can have it back one day if they make a good case.

        7. The NAL from Avondale to Swanson has the capacity for a third main for freight. I don’t know why people keep coming up with unnercessary and very expensive ideas when our national infrastructure has so much need across the entire motu. Sure New Lynn would be a bit of a bottleneck, but that can be avoided by good timetabling and a lot of the freight would probably be at night. Please don’t waste precious infrastructure putea. Take a wider look and even beyond Auckland. One engineer told me he thought that the LR tunnel appeared to be designed to fail to prevent realistic demands for proper infrastruture. Maybe he is right?

        8. Driver 8. Tunnels still create too much carbon. Did you know that the LR tunnel will mean that no CO2 will be saved until 2052 with any LR trains that might go through it? We really can’t afford to continue to build tunnels until we have got our CO2 emissions sorted and thatr is a long way off currently!

        9. Jack. The Avondale to Southdown line will be built when the NorthPort line goes ahead, because there will be more the “just two trains a day” when that happens. If the car imports went up there (and they should), that contract alone would create two trains per day carrying about 500 cars each. MetroPort will use NorthPort more and much of that freight will be for places other than West Auckland so will be coming through to Southdown. Many shipping lines will appreciate the shorter journey to NZ reducing their costs. Also KRL will appreciate removing what will eventually be one of the ruling grades of the NAL from Newmarket to Remuera, so trains can be heavier and also the lesser fuel bill by using the short cut from Avondale. As for its passenger attributes, if there was a heavy rail extension through Mangere to Wiri, then the people from South Auckland would not only have a great ride to the Masngere employment hub but they could even go via the ASL to west auckland with a simple link at Onehunga from the Mangere line. This would also create a great way for the people of Mt Roskill the get to the MEH too and would bring with the Mre line, 3 potential routes from the airport to the CRL (via Mt Albert, Remuera and Panmure). The beauty of the ASL is that KRL own the land and it has all been designed years ago.

        10. In reply to Jack. The surface heavy rail asl would take the freight at currently 2 trains a day, (which may grow) along with say 6 trains per hour in the circle line.
          This is justifiable in terms of cost for a surface line imo.
          However a multi billion dollar electric only freight tunnel for 2 freight trains per day (that may grow) only and another billion dollar plus light rail line on the surface asl is doubling costs and not justifiable.

          As for Circle lines, they are not pointless loops, look at seoul line 2 for example, or Tokyo Yamanote line, or the circle line in Singapore.
          The circle line I’m suggesting would provide more of a network where people can access anywhere on the isthmus rather than having radial lines that only promote travel to the cbd. Circle lines with intersecting radial lines achieve this. Radial lines alone don’t.

          As for pinch points and third mains on the NAL, this won’t be needed for 2 freight trains per day. Or even 4, or 6 or 10 freight trains per day. The NIMT between Westfield and wiri requires a third main as it has around 35 to 40 freight services per day traveling between the points where the current eastern line and curent southern line merge and have double suburban frequencies. This requires a third main. But the NAL is unlikely to have that number of freight services going to Whangarei and back ever.
          Also note that a circle line where eastern line trains would run into the asl would mean the Westfield to wiri section of the NIMT that is busy with freight would be far less congested at peak times.

  17. Sure this looks crazy, but probably less so than a tram in a tunnel.

    ALR previously talked about tunneling from Onehunga, this is a big departure from that. No way would they engineered this up the hill then put it underground. It should at least make it to Kingsland as surface rail. That is vastly less tunnelling= hope that something might be in action this decade.

  18. Ironically if National proceeds with the congestion charging that they have talked about it may give a far greater impetus to public transport ridership than anything Labour hasn’t done. There may then be a real need for solutions other than buses.

    1. “Ironically if National proceeds with the congestion charging that they have talked about”

      National will proceed with congestion charging the same way as Labour did with a capital gains tax (or even less).

  19. I understand that Kiwi Rail are stretched at this time but I hope they can get more support from say AT and/or Waka Kotahi to speed up the work on the Eastern Line and get it finished sooner.

  20. Michael Wood, if you are reading this – PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE just make the whole thing surface level light rail. It is complete lunacy at this point to try and plough on with tunnels and underground stations in the current climate. As Matt says, “there will never not be a need for a surface solution on Dominion Road”.
    Street level all the way – please just get it done.

    1. I agree. Queen St, Dominion Rd., Richardson Rd., Maiora Rd., Sandringham Rd., New North Rd., Simon St. and back to Queen st. Trams going in botyh directions with heavy rail connections at Maiora Rd and Dominion Rd, because whenthe Avondale to Southdown railway is built it could connect with a heavy rail connection throuigh Mangere from Onehunga. Then on to Wiri to connect to the NIMT. Then the workers of Drury, Papakura, Takanni and Manurewa will have direct rail access to the Mangere employment hub and the people of Mangere will have a rail connection to where they work at Te Papapa, Penrose, Ellerslie and Mangere Bridge people will have connections to Newmarket and the CBD. Even those in Mt Roskill will have a rapid rail connection to Mangere. Not only that but the West will be connected to the south and there will be three poptential routes by HR to the CRL via Mt Albert, Remuera and Panmure and the tourist people I was talking to in Rotorua rewcently could look forward to direct links from there to the airport. All this beats the current dumb idea.

    2. Why do we need light rail on Dom Rd even if they build ALR? The bus service is just fine. All they need to do is run 252/253 service all day instead of the meander down to Mt Eden Road that the 25B/L makes, then you’d remove all those busses from symonds street, and have a far faster door-to-door trip than any limited station count rail line will ever have.

      1. For two reasons:

        -Because projections have shown that that corridor will not be able to support the amount of buses needed in future

        -Because we need to switch to a non carbon option to reduce emissions, because climate change!

        1. The projections saying busses won’t cut it, don’t allow for the fact that the light rail project is going ahead only as tunnelled on a slightly different route. That leaves Dom Rd serving a much smaller purpose.

          The projected congestion is on Symonds Street. I’m talking about running the 252/253 route. Surface Light rail was going to skip the symonds st congestion by taking the 252/3 route down queen street via Ian Mckinnon. Tunneled light rail leaves that route available.

          You don’t need light rail to take Ian Mckinnon instead of Symonds St, buses can do that.

          Likewise you don’t need light rail to use electricity to power transport, electric buses can do that.

  21. Interesting that overhead is suddenly an option on the table, I also like that Light Metro may be sneaking back in.

    Personally I still think doing it all as one line is the problems as can be seen by the problem o getting up the hill west on Onehunga.

    Do Dominion Road as a surface Light Rail and separately have a mostly overhead line from Airport/Onehunga/Manakau Rd/Nowmarket/CBD/Shore with Light metro.

    I have a better writeup of this but real-life is stopping me from finishing it.

    1. I don’t see how a freight train is ever going to climb the gradient between Onehunga and Hillsborough without massive earthworks.

      1. The designation goes through the back of onehunga and is already half way up the hill by the time it hits onehunga mall. You can see it on a map with all the green space that winds its way in north onehunga

    2. I suspect there is industry interference afoot. Rail closures, proposing super big projects, and ‘following the will of the people after people get a bit upset at the super big projects’, spamming out all those consultations… all really close to an election. Makes me want to fucking vomit.

      All of this crap needs to be flushed out. They need to actually follow through on election mandates, and stop using consultations as referendums. Bleh.

  22. If Northport ever gets built the the NAL is vital for freight.

    Don’t forget that KR own the rails and if they want to schedule a couple of freights an hour through the metro area that is their right.

    1. The Crown owns Kiwirail and the land underneath it, a government can pretty much tell Kiwirail how they want the tracks to be used.

      1. Nope

        “Ministers cannot direct SOEs to carry out (or not carry out) particular actions. Because the power of direction for SOEs is very limited, it has been used very rarely. Shareholding Ministers have no powers to direct the listed companies.”

        1. You’ve missed my point (which in fairness I didn’t elaborate on).

          Any sitting government, with a majority in parliament can change the SOE Act or simply remove Kiwirail from the SOE Act if it wished to truly nationalise the rail network.

          While as Niall says it generally doesn’t happen, it’s hard to imagine a government sitting back and letting Kiwirail disrupt suburban passenger rail operations after spending however many billions of dollars on the CRL.

  23. Trams/LR I think are now bad words politically, so they should rebrand it to light metro, but as long as it can be driverless, it’s electric, and can carry people, I don’t care the mode. If they’re walking back now from it having surface running sections – that’s great.

    Drivers are only going to cost more and more as our economy improves/wages grow, and driverless isn’t exactly a new unproven technology – 30+ years in some parts of the world – and in earlier forms much longer. Drivers makes the system more vulnerable to strikes, makes the system less responsive to changes in demand, and means the system finds it far more difficult for late night services as they cost far more to run.

    If they can get it to be driverless (there will be shortages, and the costs of drivers will keep increasing, and for the same OPEX you could hire multiple security guards) – and arguably less CAPEX if the entire system is driverless as no need for any of the signalling systems for drivers.

    In a perfect world it’d have platform screen doors like Sydney for safety/reliability/aircon costs (but those can be retrofitted later) and be built so that maintenance can occur without having to shut down the whole system (e.g. Denmark) – but just ensuring it can be driverless is good enough.

    I think it’s overall a positive announcement – it’s radically more expensive than it should be, but the plan gets far more hate than it deserves, and once it’s built the complaints about cost will be forgotten.

    1. Hear! hear! This new altered plan is much better and ambitious. Finally some good long term thinking for Auckland.

    2. Yes I think driverless is worth the step up in grade separation that would be needed in a couple of places. We would loose some nicer placemaking through Onehunga by having to go overhead, or cost by going in a trench. Similarly running along the motorway further from Mangere town centre would loose the nice connecting but would gain some speed. So overall it’s probably worth it. This would mean you would be committed to tunnelling the rest of it to the city centre.

      Conversely you could build the airport to Mt Roskill (Dominion Rd) section first (largely on surface) then as budget and priorities dictate by then you could decide to go via Dominion Rd on the surface or Sandringham Rd tunnelled all the way to the city centre.
      I wonder if there is anywhere in the world where they run a system driverless for about half the length of the route and the drivers actually hop and and off at the cross over point. ie at around Mt Roskill drivers get on and off to just run the non grade separated sections. The thought is you would require a lot less labour than if they had to sit in the vehicle anyway through the driverless/grade separated sections.
      If this was the case you could decide on pure grade separation at either the city or the southern end. It should be cheaper to do the southern end as most of it will be running next to the motorway.

      1. Agreed re the placemaking, but with the money saved, you could spend the money on placemaking at getting a better end result. It’s less the rapid transit that is the bit that improves the place, but more the injection of capital that the build does and the new people in the area, both of which could be achieved without having to run them down the middle of the street.

        They could do 50/50, but the issue would then be – you’re building a lot of infra for drivers not needed by automatic ones, and a lot of infra for automatic systems not needed by drivers. It’s something that could happen, just don’t think it’s a great idea as then you’d need to do the same thing with the other lines it connects with (as it’s planned to be a through running line, not a terminating one)

        1. Not sure you need a lot of infra for drivers compared to driverless in modern systems apart from some signalling & some controls in the train? Each section would just need what it needs. They would swap over while in a driverless section while the driver gets themselves setup to take over. Would keep them more active too 😉
          I guess the North Shore & North Western lines would lend themselves more to driverless so best to keep the southern/airport whole section as driver operated. This could mean keeping a nice township street running connection in both Onehunga & Mangere.
          There would possibly an issue with say a driver that is suddenly not available for whatever reason and so a driverless unit arrives with no one to take it over…just a 5 min wait for the next driver to turn up and jump in (you would then drop frequency temporarily until sorted).

        2. @Grant – each station needs to be bigger as drivers don’t stop in the same exact spot each time/can overrun.

          Signalling ofc. – and rolling stock.

          There would be teething issues with the lack of drivers etc. on changeovers – but I’d expect they’d just terminate half the services on the opposing track and turn them around if that was an issue.

          There are lots of ways to make it work, just it doesn’t seem like a good use of money. You can still have the placemaking without PT going down the middle. Just the issue with the street running is it slows down every trip for not a lot of benefit – (not to mention the other issues earlier). You can spend 100m on streetscape upgrades/pedestrianisation/shared spaces around the stations/town centres, and you’d be much better off.

    3. I prefer the driverless option, but I have to mention a couple of things.
      Screen doors are necessary as it forms a barrier to people going on the track. There is no driver to put on the brakes. All other places where people might intrude on the track need barriers too.
      Driverless trains will still need driver controls for things like going to/from maintenance, also the ability to move trains when the automated system fails.

  24. What are the carbon emissions related to the build, and ongling from railway use?
    How long will it take for the emissions to be offset by emissions savings from less cars etc?

    1. Aaron. It was all calculated and reported on this GA site that it would take until 2052 for the CO2 to be paid for. I am pretty sure they took into account the lack of emissions from the trains and the lower use of cars.

  25. I guess at the end of all this and whither this goes ahead or not there will at least be some research regarding rapid transit that a future government can take note of and Carry of with.
    I have dug through many records and there really isn’t any rapid transit plans or documents for Auckland apart from some from the 70s, but there are heaps of planned motorway corridors we know are just waiting to be started by a well known future government.

  26. The SAL is already fully designated. Neighbours don’t get to have a say into whether or trains trains get to run by their homes, and they made their choice to live where they do, next to a designated railway line.

    The SAL is a critical part of the longer term plan for rail in the upper North Island, along with sections of triple track between Swanson and Avondale. When the railway to Marsden Point is up and running, shipping lines and logistics companies are going to re-orientate how freight is moved within the upper North Island. The dynamics between Marsden Point, Auckland and Tauranga will be quite different to how it is now.

  27. What I got from the comments was that their staging is not for just the CBD to Airport light rail. It’s actually for the NW busway and the North Shore busway/light rail as well. They’re likely going to join them all up as a kind of “light metro” system and stage it all that way.

    1. Not to mention the Airport to Botany & the eastern busway (already under construction) as well. They’re going to link it all up and choose which bits to do first.

      1. NW/AWHC/CC2M are all meant to be the same mode/linked in the CBD for through running.

        NW – rapid transit from CBD along SH16 to Westgate initially, then further along to Waimauku paired with a SH16 motorway extension is the plans for NW future growth.

        AWHC – Additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing – PT link is happening, it’s whether they pair it with a new motorway crossing (very likely) and walking/biking paths (probable as they’ll go ‘lets please everyone and make it apolitical’). It’s one of those projects that will eventually happen regardless of the business case because of bipartisan political pressures.

        CC2M – this project.

        The Airport to Botany bit is planned to be buses then light rail, but I think it’s fairly likely the whole thing is buses as they’ll already be running buses down the Eastern Busway and easier to just continue rather than changing the mode and forcing a transfer.

        The main projects are planned to be light rail, but I personally think they’ll gradually walk back it and go to light metro, it’s the mode that makes the most sense from their business cases, and it doesn’t have the political taint that light rail does.

  28. Half the route following existing rail / CRL route while the rest of Tamaki only has motorways with terrible existing PT services. This proposal serves those bar Mangere with more/better transport choices in particular the northwestern motorway is splitting at the seems with traffic as there is little other alternatives. If it wasn’t for the NW cycleway it would be near impossible to travel around easily

  29. It seems the basic argument is if we put heavy rail on the Avondale southdown line and route it to the city after Avondale it will be a complete waste of time and nobody will use it.

    However if we put light rail on the Avondale southdown line and route it to the city about 1.5km earlier along sandringham rd then it will be amazing and everyone will use it.

    1. It will go to the west. With a heavy rail link from Wiri to Onehunga and a connection to the ASL then the south could run trains to the west.

      1. I think that the manukau branch should cross the southern line near puhunui/wiri somewhere and then go to the airport and mangere, and then up the onehunga line to the city that way. With a proper transfer station at wiri/puhunui where people can transfer from Southern to manukau-Airport line. More of a metro pattern to reduce branch line issues.
        This is the most natural running pattern to allow the southern line to run simple running patterns without having to reduce frequencies after the manukau branch.

  30. I’m late to the party, and maybe just like to throw into the conversation:

    If someone comes to you and claim that “Why should we throw money into the bottomless pit that is public transport? There are more urgent things like the sewage system, pot holes on the roads to fix, and hospitals and schools need more funds?” etc

    So the objection is saying it is not a good use of money when there are:

    – we can’t afford it: the money should go to some immediate alternative needs like education health and welfare; or
    – the money should go to urgent infrastructure work that impacts mroe people; or finally
    – the money should have gone into fixing existing transport problems such as potholes
    ( maybe also – the money should have gone to more roads, since most of us have to drive/like to drive, will drive no matter what)

    How would you respond to such objections? My response would have been “it’s not an either/or thing” but this probably sound good enough.

    1. Health and welfare are directly linked to public transport. Not being stuck in traffic reduces stress and frees time for nicer things, active modes tackle obesity.
      Public transport affects a lot of people, even in the current run down state. Busses are (too) full all the time. So by improving these services, a lot of people would benefit.
      Potholes are a result of too many cars. How do we take cars of the road? PT and active modes.
      What if there are already many potholes? Walking and biking around them might be easier (depends on the situation). Restoring a cycle path after flooding is a lot cheaper than restoring a typically much wider road.
      A lot of infrastructure upgrades involve digging up the road anyway (think sewage pipes), so why not build a cycle lane afterwards?

  31. If they really want Light Rail to succeed, they’re building the wrong system in the wrong place. Light Rail systems work better as radial routes linking outer parts of a city, rather than into and out of the centre (where heavy rail works better). It would be a much better idea to build it from the Airport to Mangere, Middlemore, Otara, East Tamaki, Botany, maybe expanded in future to Maraetai.

    1. Radial routes are the ones that go in and out of the centre. Those that don’t are peripheral routes, like the light rail ring-routes being built in Paris.

  32. All the LR lines I have seen go in and out of a CBD. Like Dublin and Sydney.

    Besides, we have HR going in and out of the city as well?

    1. Croydon Tramlink, the trams in Paris, the proposed Interborough Express. They all run radially.
      South Auckland could really use a radial line, because it has the highest levels of poverty and lowest levels of public transport use in Auckland.
      And yes, I agree, we already have heavy rail into the city so we don’t need more (once the CRL is finished). However, some outer extensions would be useful – such as running the Western line to Waimauku.

  33. Duker – March 15th – “Theres never going to be a heavy rail line from Southdown to Avondale”

    March 16th from stuff “kiwirail-revives-avondale-to-southdown-train-link-for-freight-and-passengers,”

    You have to admit that’s pretty amazing timing.

    1. My response from elsewhere:

      “I suspect there is industry interference afoot. Rail closures, proposing super big projects, and ‘following the will of the people after people get a bit upset at the super big projects’, spamming out all those consultations… all really close to an election. Makes me want to fucking vomit.

      All of this crap needs to be flushed out. They need to actually follow through on election mandates, and stop using consultations as referendums. Bleh.”

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