13 June 2024

Hamilton-Akl passenger train gets green light

The NZ Transport Agency Board has approved a business case for the next steps in a start-up trial Hamilton to Auckland passenger rail service.

Making this announcement this morning, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said “It would stop in Hamilton at Frankton and The Base in Rotokauri before going onto Huntly and finally stopping in Papakura in Auckland, where passengers can change onto the Auckland Public Transport Network. Future stops may include, Te Kauwhata, Pokeno and Tuakau.

“The service would start with a four-carriage train which can carry 150 passengers each way. As demand grows, it would be expanded to a five-carriage train carrying up to 200 passengers,” Phil Twyford said.

The business case allows for the fit-out of rolling stock and the detailed design of infrastructure. The total cost of the five year trial, including the service operated by KiwiRail, is estimated at $78.2 million, including $68.4 million from the NZ Transport Agency and $9.8 million from local authorities.

This approval of the business case is an exciting step towards the planned roll out of a five-year trial service to begin in March 2020.

“We know more and more people are commuting between Hamilton and Auckland, and introducing this trial service will give them a choice in how they do that,” he added.

NZTA will now work with local councils and KiwiRail to develop a pre-implementation plan in early 2019.

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