Over the weekend the City Rail Link website was launched and full of information on what New Zealand’s largest infrastructure project since Lake Manapouri hydro scheme, the Kaimai Rail tunnel, and the recently opened Waterview Motorway Tunnels.
You can get to the website here: www.cityraillink.co.nz/
Here is a video on how the City Rail Link connects Auckland:
And here are some Benefits:
From the City Rail Link website:
CRL Benefits for rail users
During the past decade, Auckland’s rail patronage has increased from 2.2 million trips a year to 19 million. Rail boardings totalled 19 million for the 12 months to April 2017, an increase of 16.9 percent, or 2.7 million boardings, on the 12 months to April 2016.
But further growth of the rail system, including increases to train frequency, is constrained by its dead end at Britomart, which limits the entire network’s capacity.
The CRL will allow trains to run in both directions through Britomart.
- double the number of trains on the network
- double the capacity of people on trains to 30,000-plus an hour
- double the number of people living within 30 minutes travel of the city.
In this way, the CRL will provide a massive step-change in the rail system and close a significant gap in customer service levels, better matching public transport demand and supply.
Travel Times on the Southern and Eastern Lines post CRL
Here is some visuals into time savings on the Southern and Eastern Lines post City Rail Link:
Note: the graphics originally came from then Transport Blog, and Generation Zero: https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2014/11/14/how-crl-transforms-travel-in-the-west/
Would be nice of Auckland Transport to give credit where due.
As for Travel Times from certain stations:
So for me to get from Papakura to Town Hall would drop from a 53 minute train trip and a 20 minute walk up Queen Street to a 54 minute train trip to Aotea Station and a five minute walk to Town Hall or Council HQ. That is about 15 minutes knocked off my time mainly from walking uphill….
As for what is the CRL?
The City Rail Link (CRL) in 60 seconds
- The City Rail Link is the largest infrastructure project ever to be undertaken in New Zealand
- The CRL is a 3.45km twin-tunnel underground rail link up to 42 metres below the city centre transforming the downtown Britomart Transport Centre into a two-way through-station that better connects the Auckland rail network
- It includes a redeveloped Mount Eden Station, where the CRL connects with the North Auckland (Western Line) and two new underground stations – one mid-town at Wellesley and Victoria Streets provisionally named Aotea and one uptown at Mercury Lane, off Karangahape Road- provisionally named Karangahape.
- It will extend the existing rail line underground through Britomart, to Albert, Vincent and Pitt Streets, and then cross beneath Karangahape Road and the Central Motorway Junction to Symonds Street before rising to join the western line at Eden Terrace where the Mount Eden Station is. Mount Eden Station will be significantly re-developed
- Britomart will no longer be a “dead end” station but a through station
- The depth of the two new underground stations – Aotea Station 11m depth and Karangahape Road 33m
- The CRL is jointly funded by the Government and Auckland Council
- City Rail Link Ltd which came into being on 1 July 2017, has full governance, operational and financial responsibility for the CRL, with clear delivery targets and performance expectations. The project ‘s total cost will be within a funding envelope of $3.4b .
How will I notice it as a rail user?
Making Britomart a through station will allow better than a train every 10 minutes at peak (on average) for most Auckland stations. It will allow 30,000 people an hour on Auckland trains at peak times.
It will give you quicker travel and better access to more parts of the city centre with the new stations near mid-town and at Karangahape Road. It will be faster because trains no longer have to go all the way to Britomart and stop dead there.
For example, Kingsland train travellers will have an 84% saving in travel times to the city (6 minutes compared to the present 37); Ellerslie to K Rd will be 18 minutes instead of the present 35 – a 51% times savings).
What if I am a bus user?
Bus capacity is starting to be a concern to the extent light rail is also being considered for the future. Without the CRL, major bus routes will be at or over capacity in 2021.
The CRL provides more public transport options enabling more people to consider train travel and so helping enable a much more efficient and effective bus network.
But what if I am a motorist?
The CRL has transport benefits for large parts of Auckland, including road users, as making public transport a better travel choice will ease pressure on roads for those who need to use them. A 6-carriage electric train takes about 625 cars off the road.
The City Rail Link also better enables both Airport Lines, the Botany Line/Busway and the North Shore Line.
The City Rail Link is due to open 2023!