Manukau as the Second CBD + Sky Train

Interesting Concept with the Sky Train


[Edited to reflect change from monorail to the Vancouver Sky Train concept]

I saw this piece from South Auckland is Choice’s Twitter feed earlier today: “Manukau as a second CBD?

Their blog post picked up on a piece in today’s Manukau Courier: “Should Manukau be the new CBD?” as well as the Youtube video on Manukau I linked up to my own blog last night ( MANUKAU LIKE THIS )

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

Overall  Monorail idea
Overall Sky Train idea
Mono Rail Idea Manukau City Centre Loop
Sky Train  Idea Manukau City Centre Loop

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):

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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…


7 thoughts on “Manukau as the Second CBD + Sky Train

  1. Re: Skytrain. As the Manukau branch line exists and SH20 / Puhinui is not too congested yet, I would start with the Panmure to Botany section instead of the proposed busway. No need to grab as much land as the skytrain can run over the median. Then extend to Manukau. Then do the Manukau – Airport bit. No loops. Use local buses (Manukau Inner Link with light priorities?

    1. And the 2 options to get it from the Uni / station to Te Irirangi are either to go over private land (which as it’s elevated probably not too much of an issue) or tunnel under part of the mall and a station on the corner of Ron Wood and Gt Sth Rd (northern corner). That would be over 800m from the uni so far enough to justify a stop.

    2. I would go with the Sky Train loop for if the Manukau city Centre (Super Metropolitan Centre) expands more quickly than anticipated and consumes the Housing NZ land to its direct south, then a Sky Train Loop would be the best option as the line would be 16-20km in diameter with around 8 stations serving it.

      Also means no smelly and eye sore buses clogging up the Manukau City Centre streets running around in circles

  2. A vancouver skytrain would be a much better idea that a monorail. Can better handle steep change of grade required at Wiri where crosses motorway.
    Of course may still be preferable to stick with heavy rail, as then get direct service from Onehunga and Mangere to Manukau.
    All depends on how you do the Botany Line. I think this would work best as a elevated railway, so could stick with standard heavy rail, or again to cope with change of grade go to skytrain, or light rail would be cheaper, as could stick with at grade, and have well co-ordinated traffic signals to is not slowed down by traffic.
    Don’t see any point go with light rail for the Manukau airport link.

  3. I would consider street car (tram) before mono rail. Long term, easier to integrate a more comprehensive LRT line from Airport to Pakuranga via Botany.

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