“Official Electrification Launch”
Updated with Auckland Transport video of the features of an EMU
And so yesterday the Prime Minister and the Minister of Transport officially launched “electrification” in Auckland despite the fact the Onehunga Line (the first line) does not start running the electric trains for passengers services until April 28th. The Manukau Line gets the EMU’s in August, the Southern Line at the end of the year, the Western Line next year, and Pukekohe as soon as Council stumps up $110 million to extend the electrification from Pukekohe to Papakura (where it currently ends).
You can watch the video of the “launch” HERE.
Auckland Transport’s You Tube video of the features of our new EMU’s
Apart from the switch being flicked in Wellington (the wires have been live since last year anyhow) there was no further announcements on advancing any other large public transport project in Auckland. This includes bringing the City Rail Link construction start date from 2020 to 2017 with one of the Prime Minister’s conditions being met (the patronage growth target) and the second target not far off (25% more employment in the CBD). Irony would have it though that the PM and Minister were 15 minutes late to the launch as their Crown Limo was stuck in that infamous Auckland CBD Traffic. Then again Minister Brownlee said this as soon as he arrived:
Okay so I dare Brownlee and the Prime Minister to take the following services in the morning (had plenty of Tweets from them this morning complaining of crush mode again as a real sense of irony):
- 6:54am Pukekohe to Britomart via Newmarket service
- 7:05am Papakura to Britomart via G.I service
- 7:05am Manukau to Britomart via G.I service
- 7:21am and 7:32am Western Line services to Britomart and these two services have the SA-6-car sets that hold 650 in comfortable mode
The EMU’s running in 6-car double set mode (750 passenger capacity) will go some way in relieving that pressure but without the CRL you can not get the 5-10 minute frequencies required to move the people across the City. Nor without the City Rail Link can we get the Airport and North Shore Lines either (Botany Line I would run as light rail owing to the Manukau Station short comings) to move even more people across the City.
As for funding the CRL? Well the Hong Kong and Tokyo models would be one way – of which were mentioned last night in an Auckland Conversations piece. I did get these Tweets about the Hong Kong model:
- ‘Value Capture’ as a way to find new rail. 1. Govt. use land to pay for PPP deal;
- Govt. develop own land around stations (Hong Kong).
- Create fund to hypothecate beneficiaries from accessibility gains … Development contributions and TIF. Premised on land values incr’ing.
- Tax Increment Financing. Land value near new rail can increase by 42% in 5 yrs as in Perth. TIF would has paid for approx. 60% of that rail.
The method for funding the CRL without Central Government help is there, it is just our Council might still have the blinkers on…
And so that is my shouty post for this morning. My next post will be a Green post as I attempt to turn the Manukau Super Metropolitan Centre into a Green Manukau Super Metropolitan Centre – something that even got a “Favourite” from Brent Toderian when I Tweeted it yesterday.