Freight on our Auckland Light Rail Lines?

I can see this working for Airport to Botany and Manukau to Drury

Fellow commentator (from the North) Bryce shared a link with me on how Light Rail in Germany is also to carry freight in off peak times. 

The article shared was this one:

Frankfurt to test trams for parcel delivery

17 Sep 2018

Could Auckland Light Rail carry freight. Source: Metro Report

GERMANY: Frankfurt am Main transport operator VGF announced on September 17 the start of a pilot project to deliver parcels using dedicated trams.

The parcel trams, some with cargo trailers, would run without passengers at quiet times on the network. The parcels will be delivered to ‘microdepots’ that are being set up for the project.

Delivery service Hermes Germany is taking part in the project, along with the city of Frankfurt, House of Logistics & Mobility, the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, IHK Frankfurt am Main and the Climate Alliance.

Source: Metro Report

An artist’s impression of the planned Parramatta Light Rail at Church St, Parramatta. Source: The Daily Telegraph

Could Airport to Botany and Manukau to Drury do this?

The answer is yes both Light Rail lines currently proposed could and better than City Centre to Mangere and North West Light Rail. How?

It all comes down to volume of freight and volume of passengers that would use the respective Lines through out the day. Micro depots would be too small to serve large catchments that the North West LRT would end up serving while the main logistics depot for the Isthmus is over at the Metro Port on the otherside of the Onehunga-Southdown industrial complex (that, is well away from City Centre to Mangere Light Rail). 

Existing freight arrangements although better traffic management would be more optimal in this instance although a “Micro Depot” on the City Centre fringe where cargo bikes could then move parcels through the City Centre would also work. 

Airport to Botany offers at this point and time better optics as it were owing to location of freight depots (Airport, Highbrook and East Tamaki) as well as the prevalence of two Metropolitan Centres (Manukau and Botany) – something City Centre to Mangere does not have. 

Airport to Botany Rapid Transit suggested route

A2B (Airport to Botany) Light Rail could bring parcels from the Airport or even Highbrook Depot (via a micro depot at the Orimiston Station) shuttle them along the micro depots along the route and then from there parcels are distributed out to their respective catchments. 

This could free up State Highway 20B, Te Irirangi Drive and Manukau City Centre of diesel courier trucks and vans while allowing parcels to be moved in a more efficient and environmentally friendly manner. 

The congestion issues between Manukau and Drury could also present further opportunities for Light Rail between Manukau and Drury too. 

What do you think? LRT carrying freight? I think this might be a goer!

3 thoughts on “Freight on our Auckland Light Rail Lines?

  1. Absolutely agree that a freight line from Puhinui to a Freight depot at the airport nearest Airport Oaks will benefit the many freight companies located nearby. But it would probably have to be heavy rail to carry containers, say from the Ports of Auckland and Waikato.

    1. They dont often use containers at the Airport Logistics sites, most trucks are curtain wagons. Wiri already has train to truck for containers so nothing doing an expansion to allow container to curtain wagons at Wiri.

      Remember the LRT freight would be moving parcels sent by post (so in curtain wagons anyway) not the big stuff.

      Will be interesting to see how Germany pulls this off

  2. Makes a lot of sense.
    After all we think nothing of using the heavy rail freight lines for passengers so why not using light rail passenger lines for freight.

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