Regional Rapid Rail (Inter City rail) Terminating at Puhinui Station Rather Than Britomart? Answer seems Yes – in the short term

Britomart has no capacity until post City Rail Link


There was a Council presentation given last night updating Engineers about the Auckland Transport Alignment Project or simply the ATAP. One of Engineers tweeted live stream last night and delivered this rather interesting gem from the Q+A:


A bit to unpack here:

  1. Britomart has no capacity for extra services until the completion of the City Rail Link
  2. City Rail Link does not begin operations until 2024
  3. Airport to Manukau Rapid Transit is meant to be operational by 2021
  4. The above Rapid Transit line has a major interchange with Puhinui Station where passengers can switch between the Southern/Eastern Lines, Airport or to Manukau
  5. The Third and Fourth Mains will pass through Puhinui Station enabling more trains on the Southern Line including freight trains
  6. By the sounds of it the Transport Minister wants Regional Rapid Rail (Auckland to Hamilton at least) going ASAP


With Britomart having no capacity until post City Rail Link (2024) and Regional Rapid Rail unable to start until Puhinui Station is upgraded (2021) and interesting situation arises. That is between 2021 and 2024 inter city trains will be terminating at Puhinui Station until Britomart becomes a ‘through’ station post City Rail Link in 2024. I am aware Otahuhu has Platform 3 sitting dormant and that could be used as well for Regional Rapid Rail but the point of using Puhinui as the terminus (at least short-term) caught my attention more.


Rapid Regional Rail
Source: Greater Auckland

That is the proposed Regional Rapid Rail network the Government is investing in. This is the close up of Puhinui, Manukau and the Airport:

Regional Rapid Rail and the Southern Airport Line
Source: Greater Auckland


Puhinui was already to be a major interchange owing to its intersection with Airport to Manukau (and later Botany) Rapid Transit (and why that line should be Light Rail not bus), the existing Southern and Eastern Lines and soon the inter city routes.

To have it act as a terminus brings up some interesting Urban Geography questions including travel patterns (will inter city users continue to Britomart post 2024 or whether they will continue to go west to the Airport or east to Manukau City Centre for their needs given Manukau is already the largest Metropolitan Centre and Node in Auckland (see: #AucklandPlan2050 is Live Online! Also: Who Removed the Metropolitan Centre within a Node Category?) and consequential urban development (again Manukau being the largest Metro and Node) in the South.


Manukau Node
Source: The Auckland Plan


The revelation Puhinui Station will be used as a terminus for Regional Rapid Rail (at least in the short-term) was a surprise and as noted above throws up very interesting Urban Geography questions. I wonder if NZTA and Auckland Transport are aware of this given Airport to Botany Rapid Transit falls under them while Regional Rapid Rail would fall under NZTA?


For more on Puhinui Station see:

Puhinui Station in Need of Four Platforms

Written by Ben Ross – Talking Auckland

Station to become major interchange

Those who travel the Southern and Manukau Lines in Auckland wouldn’t think much of Puhinui Station. Puhinui current sits in between the larger Papatoetoe, Homai and Manukau Stations all which serve as interchanges in some form. While Puhinui Station serves as a transfer point between the Southern and Manukau Lines its role could be a whole lot bigger within the next decade.

quote context:


Transfer point? It just became a terminus 😛


Puhinui Interchange with the tracks