Jour­ney to in­ner city rail reaches des­ti­na­tion

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

The City Rail Link is to go ahead with gov­ern­ment back­ing.

Prime Min­is­ter John Key has said the gov­ern­ment had be­come more com­fort­able with the no­tion of the link.

Mayor Len Brown says the devel­op­ment rep­re­sents a ma­jor step for­ward for the city.

‘‘I am de­lighted the gov­ern­ment has agreed to sup­port this project,’’ he says.

The project would re­quire cen­tral gov­ern­ment to put up half the fund­ing, which it has so far been re­luc­tant to com­mit to.

It re­jected a busi­ness case on the project in 2010 and last year asked for a re­vised busi­ness case to be put for­ward at a cost of $1.7m.

In April the Green Party launched a cam­paign for the rail link, ac­cus­ing the Gov­ern­ment of stand­ing in the way of Auck­land’s progress.

‘‘The busi­ness case for the rail link is over­whelm­ing,’’ party trans­port spokes­woman Julie Anne Gen­ter says.

‘‘It will cre­ate jobs, in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity and free up the mo­tor­ways. It is a much bet­ter spend than the Gov­ern­ment’s pro­posed mo­tor­way ex­pen­di­ture.’’

The City Rail Link will al­low trains to pass through Brit­o­mart with­out hav­ing to re­verse out as they have to now.

The route will pass through three down­town sta­tions – Aotea, Karanga­hape and New­ton – mak­ing its way through Al­bert St, across Karanga­hape Rd to up­per Sy­monds St and link­ing to the West­ern and the South­ern lines.

It would be built in two 3.5 kilometre long twin tun­nels up to 45 me­tres be­low the city.

Mr Brown says along with the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of rail the link will be the big­gest ad­vance in Auck­land trans­port Bridge.

‘‘Build­ing the CRL is my num­ber one pri­or­ity as mayor. It will be a vi­tal piece of in­fras­truc­ture for Auck­land’s econ­omy, and will en­able us to bet­ter meet the chal­lenges of a grow­ing city.’’

He says much of the prepara­tory work is al­ready un­der­way in­clud­ing pro­tect­ing and pre­par­ing the route, elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of the rail net­work and the pur­chase of new elec­tric trains.

‘‘We now need to fo­cus on work­ing closely with the gov­ern­ment to agree the ex­act tim­ing and to keep



Har­bour the project mov­ing for­ward pace.’’

Coun­cil­lor Cameron Brewer says the cost of the project now needs to be ce­mented.

‘‘The Gov­ern­ment prob­a­bly needs to lock down its con­tri­bu­tion in dol­lar terms, as the project costs have re­port­edly gone up six fold in the past eight years,’’ he says.

‘‘We’ve got to make sure the costs don’t keep run­ning away for the likes of tax­pay­ers and Auck­lan­ders.’’


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