Interesting Concept with the Sky Train
[Edited to reflect change from monorail to the Vancouver Sky Train concept]
While chatter goes on about Manukau as the Second CBD I want to bring up a discussion of a Vancouver-like Sky Train concept here in Auckland. It was mentioned by Mayoral Candidate in the Manukau Courier that: “One major piece of infrastructure Mr Palino would consider is an electric train or monorail connecting Manukau with the airport.”
The Electrics are already on the way with the EMU’s and electrification of the heavy rail system in Auckland. I am aware of plans to extend the Onehunga Line (currently terminating at Onehunga) to the Airport via Mangere Bridge and Mangere. As for heavy rail plans from the airport to Puhinui Station and the Botany Line I am not so sure although I have mentioned supporting both as a third decade project (2032-2042).
However in regards to a Sky Train line (rather than a Monorail) from the airport to Manukau then running as the basic Botany Line, it caught my attention so I decided to do some doodling on the Council GIS system.
This is what I have
Just simple doodlings if Auckland was to engaged a staged medium speed (120km/h) Sky Train project.
But, if Auckland were to engage on a Sky Train project in the south and east this is how I would build the project over a 20 year time frame (all double track and elevated unless otherwise stated; stations not placed on map):
- Stage One (blue) at 11.6km long from Manukau Station (the MIT Building and AT Bus Interchange included) to the airport. It includes a loop to encompass the airport shopping and business areas, international and domestic terminals. This section is the longest part of the entire Sky Train project.
- Stage Two (red) at around 8.9km (second longest section of the project) starting from the Manukau Station then following Manukau Station and Great South Roads before arcing right and heading along Te Irirangi Drive to Botany Town Centre. This section also forms part of an inner Manukau Loop that would be built later. In essence this section follows the current Botany heavy rail Line path and would supplant the heavy rail line currently planned.
- Section Three (pink) is at 7.1km and is essentially the northern half of the Botany heavy rail Line to which this Sky Train would supplant. It would run from Botany Town Centre to the Panmure AMETI Interchange currently under construction by Auckland Transport. This is the northern terminus of the Sky Train line.
- Section Four (black) is a 4.5km Manukau loop that runs round what would be the northern half of the Manukau City Centre (second CBD of Auckland). The loop would be optional but essentially function of making most of the Manukau CBD within a very close distance of a high-capacity and medium speed line. It would also make most aspects of Manukau more accessible without driving the car from the Mall to the Warehouse less than 500 metres away as the crow flies. If Manukau does become a true CBD with a very large employment centre within it, I don’t see a particular issue of a shuttle service (Sky Train) running around the area – especially with our foul weather. The loop can be extended to the South to include the Vodafone Events Centre and surrounding areas as all that goes under gentrification via the Unitary Plan.
As I said though just some musings put down onto paper – well pixels with the Sky Train concept.
Manukau though as the Second CBD of Auckland? Will be pushing that hard as it gains traction in the south…