It’s been a while since we looked at the latest with the City Rail Link and there’s been some fantastic milestones recently.
To start with, and most recently, CRL have released an awesome video showing a full fly-through of one of the tunnels.
Come fly with us!
You asked for it. We have made it happen. So enjoy!
We sent a drone through the City Rail Link tunnel so you can get the feel of your future train journey underground from the redeveloped Maungawhau Stations to the familiar downtown Waitematā (Britomart).
It’s a 3.4km journey.
The first of those two 3.45-kilometre-long tracks for Auckland’s newest railway line – the City Rail Link – has now been laid connecting, underground, Waitematā (Britomart) and Maungawhau Stations. That newly laid track will carry trains south from Waitematā Station (Britomart).
CRL Ltd’s main contractor, Link Alliance, and railway infrastructure company, Martinus New Zealand, installed the track on what is one of the steepest sections of railway in New Zealand. From Waitematā, which sits below sea level, the track climbs around 70 metres to Maungawhau. At its deepest point, the track runs 42 metres underneath Auckland’s busy Karanga-a-Hape.
The newly laid track will carry trains south from the downtown station.
Laying the track successfully is one part of a complex tunnel fit out underway that includes the installation of electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, safety and communications systems.
We have our head down with construction stuff to get it all finished but we hope one day to let you see it for yourself.
In the meantime, here’s what you asked for. An imaginary train trip of sorts down the tunnel!
As noted above and can be seen in the video, they’ve fully laid the track in one of the tunnels which is a great milestone. There’s clearly still a lot of work to be done though and the track in the other tunnel will be completed next year. Further, assuming everything sticks to schedule, it won’t be till July of next year when the first test train is able to roll cautiously through the tunnels.
They’ve also recently released a few neat timelapse videos of work around the Maungawhau station.
This one shows two years of work looking east towards the station from around Porters Ave.
And this one, over roughly the same period looking west towards Mt Eden Rd
This is from about the same location but looking east towards Normanby Rd
And finally, one showing the installation of a scissor crossovers at the entrance to the CRL platforms of Maungawhau station.
Last week saw CRL give an update to the council’s Transport and Infrastructure committee. The full thing, including councilor questions is below but the main focus of the presentation was on the scale of work to be done around integration, testing, commissioning and documentation.
One of the things that stood out were the scale of driver training required, which all needs to be done while still maintaining existing schedules.
And another was the level of documentation that needs to be produced, and each doc could be thousands of pages in length.
The construction work is meant to be finished next year and commissioning work is currently scheduled for completion in November 2025 but it is then handed over to Auckland Transport and Kiwirail and they will have their own work to do before trains start running so we still don’t have a date for when passengers will be using it.
Also from that meeting is what I find somewhat disappointing news, funding has been confirmed for an upgrade of Henderson Station. Henderson definitely needs an upgrade, most notably a second entrance and more shelter but I have argued that an upgrade of Swanson is a cheaper and better outcome. This is because by upgrading Henderson, there will be little improvement to services west of Henderson even though the stations west of Henderson serve a population larger than Pukekohe, yet will get much better service. A lot of this seems to be driven by what is increasingly looking like a significant bias against the western line from AT and Kiwirail.