Concerns on the Manukau South Link

Port of Auckland – Can we talk please?

Caught this today in the Manukau Courier. Rather interesting that they bring this up today of all days. Ah well lets take a look:

Wiri train tracks block access

Creating a southern connection between the Manukau Train Station and the main trunk line could be more difficult than first thought.

Local boards throughout the south have called for the link so passengers can travel from Manukau to Papakura and Pukekohe directly.

Passengers wanting to head south from Manukau now have to transfer at Papatoetoe.

But a Kiwirail spokeswoman says if the connection gets approval it would need to cross tracks that lead to Ports of Auckland’s inland port at Wiri.

That would require reconstruction of those tracks.

“This part of the rail corridor has quite complex track layouts because of the Manukau branch junction, the port facility and the EMU [Electric Multiple Units] depot,” she says.

A Ports of Auckland spokesman didn’t want to comment on how ripping up its tracks could affect operations at the port because no-one had put forward an official proposal to do the work.

But Manurewa Local Board chairwoman Angela Dalton says linking the Manukau station with the main trunk line made more sense than other transport projects being pushed.

“It doesn’t make sense to me, pouring money into the city rail link when we need to get things moving out here.

“We need to get cars off the streets and the trains connecting effectively.”

Auckland Transport‘s main priority at the Manukau line is double-tracking it so services can run every 10 minutes to and from Britomart, council documents show.

It’s also assessing the viability of a link between the two lines as part of its rail development plan.

 

The Manukau South (Rail) Link is a project that I have been following closely since I first raised the point that a Electrification Mast would be in the road of the south link early last year. It is a project that I still follow closely while Auckland Transport develop a case study for this link – that south so desperately need!

In saying that though has anyone actually approached Port of Auckland and had a decent conversation with them on how the South Link might work. Work as in POAL has their Wiri Inland Port that covers part of the South Link path. And whether POAL should move their Wiri facility 900 metres down the road where this is a mothballed siding and massive block of land sitting vacant.

Port of Auckland I think we of the South need to have a chat over coffee and hot scones. What do you think?