City Rail Link Sod Turning Marks Auckland’s Rebirth into the 21st Century + Live Stream Link

Detractors will always be detractors


Today the Prime Minister, and Auckland Mayor Len Brown will undertake the ceremonial sod turning to mark the official start of the City Rail Link construction in Downtown Auckland.

The City Rail Link with its 3.4km tunnels, two underground stations at Aotea and K’ Road, and the new junction/station at Mt Eden will open up Britomart making that station a through station. This allows doubling of the capacity of the heavy rail network (trains can go every five minutes on all lines except the Onehunga Line). The City Rail Link also allows the construction and operation of the North Shore, Botany and Airport Lines over time as well. Meaning with the inclusion of Isthmus Light Rail and the North Western Bus-Way the urban Auckland population plus Pukekohe should be within 10-15 minutes of a rapid transit line by the end of the Auckland Plan (if not sooner).


Of course busses will still have their place whether down a bus-way, feeding into the metro stations (light or heavy rail) and doing short distance shuttling across the City. Park and rides for stations with rural catchments would extend the reach of the Rapid Transit system to those outside urban Auckland.


City Rail Link Route Source: Auckland Transport
City Rail Link Route
Source: Auckland Transport


For the usual detractors out there I am going to leave this graphic from How to Use OUR Street Space Efficiently While Being Pro-People? on why Auckland’s rebirth lays with rail (and busses) rather than cars, roads and motorways (including Mill Road, Reeves Road Flyover, and the next Harbour road crossing):

How many people benefit from different street configurations? Source:
How many people benefit from different street configurations? Source:


Note with heavy and light rail: the Elevated or underground Light Rail used in the example above was a 4-car train set at 1:30 minute frequencies. For surface light rail it was the same 4-car set at every 2:30 minute frequencies. In Auckland our heavy rail system can move using a 6-car set 750 people every five minutes in a single direction. So at 750 x 24 trains per hour (12 going both directions) our heavy rail system post City Rail Link moves 18,000 people an hour (or 9,000 in a single direction per hour). If the system were to go driver-less we can get down to three-minute frequencies or 30,000 people an hour.


The rest I will leave to Sudhvir Singh from Generation Zero: Sudhvir Singh: Rail link the key to a unified city


By 2024 I can finally catch that train directly to Town Hall without the walk up and down Queen Street 😀

2 thoughts on “City Rail Link Sod Turning Marks Auckland’s Rebirth into the 21st Century + Live Stream Link

  1. And more important than suburban residents being able to get into the CBD quickly, I and thousands of others will be able to get to-and-from Manukau or Pukekohe (from Newmarket) without getting caught in Southern Motorway gridlock…. The next critical project will be to build carpark-retail-office towers over all suburban stations, on which AT/AC/Govt can generate the revenue that will help pay the rail cost subsidy and generate a surplus – as Hong Kong and Tokyo have achieved with their city rail networks….

    CRL is 20 years plus late, but its only Stage One of the urban-transport transformation projects that Auckland-Government need to coordinate the fast-tracked delivery of.

    Cheers, keep up the good work!!

    1. 🙂

      What I didnt put in the post this morning (but will when Minister Nick Smith releases the National Policy Statement later today) is that property values and amenities will surges next to those rail and bus stations whether it be residential areas or a Metropolitan Centre like Henderson, Manukau or Sylvia Park.

      That surge will trigger off more intensification as people want to be close to the transit system and indeed not stuck on the Great Southern Parking Lot.

      Stage One it is and hopefully looking forward to many more stages sooner rather than later.

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