Auckland’s March-17 Rail Timetables

Auckland's March-17 Rail TimetablesLast week Auckland Transport were talking up how prepared they were for the expected upcoming March Madness. As part of that, and as we’ve seen from board reports for a few months now, a new rail timetable comes into effect on March 12. We already knew what most of the timetable changes involved, consisting of: Westfield Station will close Parnell Station will open, served initially by Southern Line trains with Western Line trains only stopping in evenings and weekends. Onehunga line trains will skip Greenlane, Remuera and Parnell stations. This is said to be to speed up services enough that it frees up a 3-car train. Speeds on the other lines …

Improving EMU Travel Times – LGOIMA

Back in January I made a request to Auckland Transport asking what had been done/planned to improve travel times on the rail network, the response I received was very positive and if able to be implemented fantastic for rail users. You can view the entire response here. The highlight is the section on dwell times, which remarked that CAF have been hard at work testing different options to reduce the dwell times with one option possibly allowing 20 second dwells. Whether this option is feasible outside the depot however is to be seen. CAF have recently undertaken timed tests in the depot for different opening and closing options – for …

Third Main Business Case OIA

In November I made a request under the Official Information Act regarding any potential Third Main business case, as it was one of my ATAP ASAP’s and I wanted to know if any movement had been made, especially as it was mentioned in ATAP & the agencies had gone quiet on the issue. The response I received back confirms one exists, it is in draft form pending approval from KiwiRail & the Minister. You can see the full response from the NZTA here What is the Third Main?

50 Years of waiting for an Auckland Rapid Transit system.

My father, Ian Reynolds 1922-2005, was an architect (as was my mother). He was also a what was then called a Town and Country Planner. After returning from working in England after the war he spent the rest of his career as partner in a big multidisciplinary practice in Auckland (missing the city of his youth: Wellington. Office in Wakefield St, where the AUT business school is now). There he was responsible for a chunk of our post-war modernist heritage, as well as a lot of planning work. Especially at the University of Auckland, master-planning the campuses and involved in the campaign to retain the city one, which thankfully won out. Notable design work includes the School of Engineering and …

Westfield Station to be cut

Yesterday Auckland Transport finally confirmed that the Westfield station would close, after it was put on death row back in 2013 following the consultation for the New Network in South Auckland. There are a number of factors that have contributed to the demise of the station with AT citing its low patronage with little prospect for future growth given the stations catchment of light industrial land on one side and the Mangere Inlet on the other. As AT point out in their press release (below), the station has less than 330 passengers a day boarding or alighting at it, which is tiny when you consider that on the average workday the rest …

Ka mua, ka muri: Looking back in order to move forward

‘They always say time changes everything, but actually you have change them yourself’ -Andy Warhol Ka mua, ka muri is a Māori proverb that expresses a great truth around a simple image. The image is of a person walking backwards into the future. It suggests that the past is clearly visible but the future is not, that we have imperfect information for the road ahead, but also that this is a natural state of affairs. Let us look back for clues to the way forward, but also understand that the future is unwritten. The future comes out of the past but will not be identical to it. The only unchanging thing …

ATAP ASAPs – Third Main

In September the final report of the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) was released, many of you may have read about it, or most likely have heard about it. The Indicative Package was the below projects + 3 separate tranches of 21 Trains which were separated into three decades. First Decade – 2018-2028, Second Decade 2028-2038, & Third Decade 2038-2048. Please note that the package is indicative & some projects will likely move around subject to funding, changes in circumstances & individual business cases. While we’ve talked about ATAP a lot in recent months, this series is concentrated on what I like to call the ATAP ASAP’s, decade 1 projects which really …

ATs rail assets and costs

Occasionally Auckland Transport will publish reports that originally went to their closed after they’re no longer deemed to be confidential. One of these released recently was a deep dive into ATs rail infrastructure and contained quite a bit of interesting but somewhat wonky information, particularly around rail related assets AT have. With rail, Kiwirail own the tracks, signalling and overhead lines while AT own the trains, stations and other amenities associated with providing rail service. The paper only looks at the AT aspects. In total, there are 57 electric trains, 10 diesel trains (for the Papakura to Pukekohe services), 40 stations across the network with 55 individual ticket gates across four of …

SMART Alignments Observations

I recently read through the Jacobs prepared alignments for AT for the SMART (South-western Multi-modal Airport Rapid Transit) project. In it contains the proposed alignments for HR (Heavy Rail), BRT (Bus Rapid Transit), LRT (Light Rail Transit), as well as a Hybrid option. I would recommend giving them a look but they’re big files so perhaps not on your phone. HR alignment The first thing I noticed was for some reason the line names are wrong, I assume this was a mistake. The other and far more serious observation is the lack of a flying junction at Penrose, anybody who passed through here knows that trains can sometimes be sitting for minutes …