CRL: Over 100 years in the making

By the time the City Rail Link opens in 2022/23, the idea will have been over 100 years in the making, in one form or another. I thought I’d look at how the project and concept have evolved over that century. The idea originally started in the early 1910’s by people living in the west and north-west who wanted shorten the journey to the city via a spur from around Morningside to the back of the Town Hall, with a terminus station likely taking over Myers Park. In 1924 the government approved a large package of works for rail all around the country. In Auckland that included building the Eastern line and shifting …
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Government CRL announcement imminent?

Auckland could be about to get a late Christmas present. It’s appearing more and more likely that the government will agree to start to the City Rail Link in 2018, two years earlier than the 2020 date they set back in 2013 when they first agreed to the project. To go with the what, we also know the where and when, Stuff reports: Prime Minister John Key is expected to announce the Government will help fund Auckland’s $2.5 billion inner city rail link two years earlier than originally promised. It’s understood the PM will make the commitment in a speech to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce on January 27. …. Auckland …
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No White Elephants to be found here

There was a quite angry editorial in the Sunday Star Times (SST) yesterday about Len Brown’s mayoralty which included this stunningly bad comment on transport. He did manage to slip through one win, the city rail link, just before details of his sex antics became public. Unfortunately, this $2.5 billion project will do nothing to address Auckland’s transport problems; 99 per cent of Aucklanders will never use it. This is a vain egotistic folly that will serve only to shuttle the ladies-who-lunch between the leafy suburbs of Mt Eden and the trendy restaurant precincts of Federal St and Britomart, and to deliver more sad-eyed gamblers right to the doors of SkyCity casino – …
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CRL now consented & Aotea images

CRL now consented & Aotea imagesThe CRL took another step forward yesterday following the good news the Environment court has dismissed the final appeal against the designation for the City Rail Link. That means for the first time since the 1920’s when the first variations of the project were proposed it has an actual designation. The City Rail Link (CRL) has reached a major milestone with all appeals to its land designation now resolved by agreement or dismissed. Auckland Transport’s chief executive David Warburton says five of the six appeals were settled and the only appeal that went to the Environment Court has been dismissed. The designation is now confirmed subject to finalisation of conditions by the Court. …
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A delay to the CRL?

The Herald reported yesterday that an increasing number of councillors are thinking of voting to delay the City Rail Link to 2020. The $2.4 billion City Rail Link could be deferred until 2020 because of mounting concerns by councillors about its impact on rates, debt and big cuts to community services. A number of councillors are having second thoughts about an early start on the rail project and support deferring work until the Government comes on board with funding in 2020. Auckland Mayor Len Brown has locked $2.2 billion into a new 10-year budget to begin work on the 3.5km underground rail link in 2016 and completed by 2021. On …
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Rail vs Driverless Cars

A few days ago there were two major transport stories, the first was about a new record for rail patronage and the other topic was about the government looking to make it easier for driverless cars to be on New Zealands roads. The prospect of cars travelling New Zealand highways with no one behind the wheel is moving closer says new Transport Minister Simon Bridges. Officials are reviewing legislation allowing for the testing of umanned autonomous vehicles on public roads. Mr Bridges has pledged to work with environmental interests while also pursuing the Government’s road building programme. Mr Bridges said he was committed to “a balanced approach” and ongoing investment roads were …
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CRL design being progressed

Auckland Transport have said that they are focusing efforts to design the northern end of the CRL from Wyndham St to Britomart. Design of the Britomart end of the City Rail Link is being progressed with Auckland Transport asking the construction industry to register its interest in the work. The focus of the design work will be on the downtown section of the City Rail Link, from Britomart through Queen, Customs and Albert Streets to Wyndham Street. It is the area that most affects other planned and proposed inner city development by Auckland Council and private developers. “It’s a sensible next step to get design certainty for the part of the CRL …
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The CRL is about capacity

I’ve been noticing in recent times an increasing number of people questioning the need for the City Rail Link. I’m not sure what’s causing it but it might be that Auckland Transport have been remarkably quiet on the project for the last six months or so. With this post I thought I would highlight some of the key reasons why the project is needed and it’s all related to capacity. It’s commonly mentioned by those that oppose the CRL that the CBD is only 15% of all regional employment. What’s not mentioned is that 15% represents ~100,000 jobs. While the 15% figure is true it ignores a couple of key points. …
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Appeals against the CRL

At the beginning of March the commissioners hearing the notice of requirement (NOR) to enable the route to be designated recommended the NOR be approved. A few weeks later Auckland Transport accepted all of the associated recommendations meaning that for the first time a rail route through the CBD had been designated despite such an idea having been talked about at numerous times over the previous 90 or so years. While the route is now designated it was never going to be the end of the matter as there was still the option for people/companies unhappy with the outcome to appeal to the Environment Court. Any appeals had to be received by the 19 …
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