Council backs train
Passengers can expect to pay up to $40 per day for a round trip on the Hamilton to Auckland train service, which is expected to launch in March 2020.
In the business case which came before Waikato Regional council on Wednesday, details into how the train would operate were revealed.
The train will run from Hamilton’s Frankton station, stopping at a new station at The Base, before stopping at Huntly and then Papakura.
The total trip time from Frankton would be 88 minutes, with a $12.20 ticket one way.
The average one way fare paid by all passengers is $9.91, but the one-way fare increases with the number of zones you travel through. As such, those boarding the service in Huntly and travelling to Papakura will pay $7.80 and from Hamilton $12.20
Passengers would then need to purchase a second ticket for $6.20 for a further 50 minute trip to Britomart.
There will be two morning peak services from Frankton station to Papakura between 5.50am and 7.am on weekdays, while the timing of the services will minimise wait-time at Papakura. On start up the train will have a seating capacity of 150 passengers.
The council hopes that by year three of the service running that it will reach its demand of 196 passengers per day.
In the first half year the rail service is expected to make $200,000, before making $800,000 in year two, and over a million dollars in year three.
The number of carriages could rise depending on the demand for the service, with the train also running once on a Saturday for the first three years, with a potential to run on Sundays and public holidays from 2023.
Passengers on the train can expect the carriages to have wi-fi, a cafeteria, USB power points, toilets and bike racks.
If the service is a success, then further stations may be operational in the next five to 10 years, including a new station in Hamilton Central.
The provision of wi-fi on the train is a matter which is currently being investigated by council staff with support of Hamilton City council and KiwiRail.
It has been advised to council that such a service could be delivered on-board. However, it will cost a large amount of money to provide a fast and good quality connection.
The diesel train will operate from Hamilton to Papakura, before passengers switch over to catch this electric train to Britomart.