Ohinewai – Morrinsville Rail Deviation

With the new Government and its new transport focuses including “mode neutrality in freight transport planning” I thought this would be a fantastic opportunity to write about something we have been thinking about for a while. While planning bypasses and re-alignments of old routes for expressways or new state highways is often discussed and often also funded very little discussion happens around whether we could do the same on the national rail network.…
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Northland Rail

As part of the recent Coalition agreement between Labour and New Zealand First, one of the major policy wins for NZF was the creation of a $1 billion a year fund for regional development projects included Regional Rail. It is highly likely that these Regional Rail projects will include upgrades to the Northland rail such North Auckland Line to Whangarei as well as a new branch line to Marsden Point.…
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Tourist trains from Southland to Northland?

This post is a news roundup and a few musings on the tourist trains in New Zealand. Readers might not realise but we actually have three long distance train routes in New Zealand: The Northern Explorer between Auckland and Wellington, the Costal Pacific between Picton and Christchurch (currently suspended due to the Kaikoura earthquake), and the Trans Alpine from Christchurch to Greymouth across the Southern Alps.…
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Options for Regional and Metro heavy rail services in Auckland

Greetings from France! Before getting into the detail, I thought I’d lull you into a sense of calm by sharing a photo from one of the little villages (Saint Beat) we recently visited. P.s. The Pyrenees are stunning.I started writing this post while sitting on the TGV from Toulouse to Paris, which takes circa 4.5 hours via a new section of track between Bordeaux and Paris that opened approximately 2 months ago.…
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Hamilton: City of the Future

This post is about:How spillovers from the Auckland boom are driving growth in nearby regions. The opportunities for these communities to benefit more from this economic change. The central role of inter-regional transport infrastructure for reviving small towns and enabling their residents to take part in the bigger urban economies.…
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More on Kiwi Rail De-electrification

*This is a guest post by Roger Blakeley, Bob Norman, Alex Gray and Keith Flinders. Dr Roger Blakeley, former Secretary for the Environment; Bob Norman, former Commissioner of Works; Alex Gray, professional civil engineer and Senior Project Manager; Keith Flinders, Electrical Services Consultant KIWIRAIL’S NIMT DECISION EXPOSED IN LEAKED DOCUMENTS Roger Blakeley, Bob Norman, Alex Gray and Keith Flinders Leaked documents show that KiwiRail’s decision in December 2016, to replace electric locomotives on the electrified section of the North Island Main Trunk (NIMT) with diesel locomotives, was based on flawed logic and justified by misleading information.…
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Some More De-Electrification Questions

Last year KiwiRail made the decision to replace the 16 current 30-year-old EF class electric freight trains currently in use on the North Island Main Trunk with the procurement of more DL Class Diesel Trains. These EF Class trains use the 25kvAC electrification between Te Rapa and Palmerston North that was built during the Think Big years. …
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Making mischief with multi-criteria analysis

Kiwirail’s recent decision to release the full business case for the third main has provided an interesting look into Auckland’s transport alternatives. As Matt outlined in his post, it’s strange that this project hasn’t been funded while the far costlier East-West Link is being fast-tracked: The section of track between Westfield and Wiri is one of the most heavily used in the entire country.…
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Why is PT ridership falling in the US, but growing here?

Jarrett Walker recently posed an interesting question, that he was after some more in depth research on than the usual ‘reckons’, “why is public transport ridership in the US falling so much?” This builds on a tweet from Kirk Hovenkotter, showing that ridership had fallen in most large US cities over the past year, which was reported on CityLab:Transit ridership is falling except in 2 cities with major bus network restructures.…
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February-2017 Ridership

Auckland Transport’s hold a board meeting next week which means we finally get to see how public transport performed in February. February’s results are always slightly more interesting than normal as they give an indication of what kind of results we can expect from March Madness as the busy conditions usually start manifesting in late Feb – and so far, March has been noticeably un-mad. …
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