Opens opportunities including the Airport Line
In the midst of a conversation with a fellow Tweeter about Pukekohe to Otahuhu services (when the Pukekohe section of the Southern Line is electrified) it came up that Auckland Transport are looking at building a third platform at Otahuhu Station. This is the Otahuhu Station that will be part of the Otahuhu Interchange that is currently being built by AT.
From Transport Blog:
Otahuhu Bus/Train Interchange – AT say passengers will start using the new concourse from early October but the station will officially open on 29 October. They will also now be building a third platform, which is required for the CRL so means it can be done preventing disruption again in a few a year’s time.
That third platform would be between the current Down-Main (south bound track) and the Interchange where there is currently room and from what I heard a siding is being built.
I was thinking on my train trip home a couple of weeks ago that the space between the Down-Main and the Interchange was wide enough for a third platform. This platform would be used for the Airport Line via Otahuhu keeping at least one other platform clear for Southern and Eastern Line services.
Fast forward to the discussion today and while the third Otahuhu Platform would initially cover the Henderson to Otahuhu shuttle runs post City Rail Line it is the opportunity that third platform at Otahuhu presents for the Airport Line.
My preferred method for the Airport Line would be heavy rail from Otahuhu Station to the Airport via Mangere as seen here: Airport Line Via Otahuhu: The Universal Connection to the Airport for all of Auckland. To allow the frequencies of the Southern and Eastern Lines PLUS the new Airport Line a third platform would be needed to handle the volume of passenger trains (freight uses the approach tracks leading in and out of Westfield Depot) coming through Otahuhu.
If Auckland Transport somehow that the Airport Line should be heavy rail via Otahuhu then by having the third platform already built a main obstacle is already out of the road. The only big one left that would interfere with the main lines during construction is the under or over pass needed for the Airport Line away from the main lines.
As for run pattern? Well if the Mt Roskill Spur is ever built alongside the Otahuhu to Airport portion of the Airport line you could do this at 10 minute frequencies:
- Mt Albert
- Mt Eden(?)
- CRL Stations
Note: I have not listed all the possible stations along that route
Such a run pattern not only serves the Airport and Mt Roskill section but also forms an inner-Auckland shuttle that would take pressure off Western and Southern Line main services as well.
For the Eastern Line transfers at either Britomart or Otahuhu would be needed. If coming in from the South and needing to get to the Airport you would also transfer at Otahuhu until the Botany Line to the Airport is built.
In any case great to see a third platform that is going to be built soon at Otahuhu. Let’s hope that leads to some more opportunities like that Airport Line through Otahuhu.